With Jesus in Five Cities -- By: William R. Newell

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 108:431 (Jul 1951)
Article: With Jesus in Five Cities
Author: William R. Newell

With Jesus in Five Cities

William R. Newell

In His course on earth five principal places are connected with our Lord Jesus Christ. These cities are Bethlehem, Nazareth, Capernaum, Jerusalem and Bethany. He visited hundreds of places—”the cities of Israel.” These five, as we shall see, stand for His ministry looked at as a whole. We begin of course at Bethlehem, and travel with Jesus from city to city. And we should mark especially two things in each one. First, in what character or work is the Lord manifested in each city? And, second, what is the attitude or reaction of those in each city toward Him?

Bethlehem, the city of His birth. In Matthew 1:21 the blessed word had been brought by an angel to Joseph concerning Mary, explaining her condition and comforting his heart: “She shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus [Jesus means Jehovah-Saviour]; for it is He that shall save His people from their sins.” So we read in Matthew 2:1, “Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king.” Then follows the wonderful account of the wise men, the “Magi,” from the east. Evidently a large company (not three only, as tradition has it) of wealthy, illustrious, learned men had come from the ancient seat of learning, Babylon, and beyond. It is to worship Him “that is born King of the Jews,” that they come. God had directed them by “His star in the East”—the same God who told Job of the wonders of the heavens (Job 37:14–24; 42:1–6 ).

The chief priests and scribes at Jerusalem, knowing the letter of the Scripture in the prophet Micah (Mic 5:2), are able to inform Herod that this Messiah-King will be born

“in Bethlehem.” It is striking that, although guiding these would-be worshippers by miraculous astronomical signs, God would thus have His own “word of prophecy” honored, as directing to the city of David. Thither these great men go, “and lo, the star, which they saw in the east,” again appeared, and goes before them till it stands over where the young child is. “And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Now comes the picture of the future submission of all kings of the earth to this same Babe of Bethlehem, when He shall come back to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords, when

“All kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him” (Ps 72:11).

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