They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” (Matthew 2:5–6)
God had a plan, right down to the place where Jesus would be born.
The Magi, probably coming from Babylon, journeyed to Jerusalem, as the star led them. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they started to ask around – they didn’t know where to go next. They followed the star because of the prophecy in Number 24:17, but they didn’t know the place.
Micah, one of the prophets, prophesied about his birth. Micah wrote of the place where the ruler would be born, more than 700 years before he was born. Bethlehem was a small, unlikely place, but also an important place. Another unlikely ruler had been born in Bethlehem in the past, and that was David.
Micah 5:2 says it this way: But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Micah was merely announcing a plan that had been made in eternity past, proclaimed by Micah and reinforced by Matthew.
Jesus was born here not only to fulfill the prophecy, but also to show that he would be a ruler in the line of David, and not just any ruler, the final and greatest ruler. He would be born in the same city as the great ruler of the past, David.
The intricacy of God’s plan always amazes me! The founding of Bethlehem, the birth of David, the prophecy of Micah, the trip of the Wise Men following the movement of the star, and the knowledge of the religious leaders all were steps laid out by the Ancient of Days to testify to the greatness of Jesus. Praise God for his wonderful plan!