Today a Saviour is born to you in the city of David. He is the Messiah, the Lord.
And this will be the sign that you have found him: You will see a baby swaddled in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” TJB 2:53-54
We first find Joseph and Mary coming down from the Nazareth to the City of David, which is Bethlehem, just prior to the birth of Jesus. Then 40 days later Jesus is redeemed and dedicated in the temple and the Gospel story tells us that Joseph, Mary and Jesus return to Nazareth.
Herod asked them, “Where is this Messiah to be born?”
“In the town of Bethlehem in Judah,” they responded, “for it is written by the prophet Micah,
‘You, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, You are not least among the rulers of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you, who will shepherd my people Israel.’” TJB 3:5-8
The Bible doesn’t tell us that Joseph and Mary actually moved to Bethlehem however we do find them living there when the Astrologers from the east arrive and pay homage to the ‘King of the Jews’. At some stage between Jesus’ redemption ceremony and the time the Astrologers arrived in Judah the family had already relocated and settled in Bethlehem. Their decision to move may have been two-fold:
- The scriptures predicted that the Messiah was to come from Bethlehem and so they thought it was entirely appropriate for them to relocate to make sure the scriptures were fulfilled.
- And the rejection they would have faced from the people of Nazareth surrounding their ‘questionable marriage’ would have been in stark contrast to the welcoming arms of the people of Bethlehem who had heard of all the ‘amazing reports’ about their baby from the shepherds and the prophetic words given by Anna and Simeon at the temple.