Bonar Bethlehem and its Good News

Bonar Bethlehem and its Good News is a single chapter sermon by Presbyterian preacher Horatius Bonar on the Incarnation, aspect Bethlehem.

Bonar Bethlehem and its Good News is a single chapter sermon by Presbyterian preacher Horatius Bonar on the Incarnation, aspect Bethlehem.

BETHLEHEM AND ITS GOOD NEWS
HORATIUS BONAR

“The Word was made flesh.”- Joh 1:14.

There was nothing great about Bethlehem. It was “little among the thousands of Judah” (Mic 5:2); perhaps but a shepherd-village or small market-town; yet there the great purpose of God became a fact; “The Word was made flesh.”

It is in facts that God’s purposes come to us, that we may take hold of them as real things. It is into facts that God translates his truth, that it may be visible, audible, tangible. It is in facts (as in so many seeds) that God embodies his good news, that a little child may grasp them in his hand. So was it with the miracle of our text. God took his eternal purpose and dropped it over Bethlehem in the form of a fact, a little fragment of human history. Over earth, the first promise had been hovering, for four thousand years, till at last it rested over Bethlehem, as if it said, “This is my rest; here will I dwell.”

The city is poor rather than rich. It is not without its attractions; but these are of the more homely kind. Its scenes are not stately; its hills are not lofty; its plains are not wide; its slopes are rocky; it is not like the city of the Great King, beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth. Yet there “the Word was made flesh.”
It has no palace nor temple; only an inn for the travelers passing between Hebron and Jerusalem; its dwellers are not priests nor princes; it is not a sacred city, and is but little noted in history. Yet there, not at Jerusalem, “the Word was made flesh.”

But its lowliness makes it more suitable as the birthplace of Him who, though he was rich, for our sakes became poor. And all about it seems to suit him too. It is “the house of bread,” fit dwelling for him who is “the bread of God.” Its old name was Ephratah, “the fruitful,” as if pointing to the fruitful one. At its gate is the well of David; and not far off are the pools of Solomon, which pour their water into Jerusalem, telling us of the living water, and the river whose streams make glad the city of our God. The gardens of Solomon are also close by, speaking to us not only of “the garden of the Lord,” and the second Adam, and the tree of life, but giving us the earthly scenes (which are the patterns of the heavenly) which the “Song of songs” describes (Son 2:12-13).

Bonar Bethlehem and its Good News

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