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Ancient Words: His First Coming, The House of Bread

by Scott Johnson | December 11, 2020 at 8:30 p.m.

The book of Ruth is an amazing story about honor, sacrifice, love and devotion within two special relationships. The relationship of Ruth and Naomi first displays these inspirational characteristics. Naomi cares for her widowed daughters-in-law, yet Ruth cares for Naomi more: But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17

Through Naomi, Ruth meets Boaz, and a marriage relationship ensues which again displays honor, sacrifice, love and devotion: So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. Ruth 4:13-17

Bethlehem means “House of Bread” and with the famine over in Judea, the return of Naomi and Ruth to Bethlehem, Ruth and Boaz meeting in the barley fields, Bethlehem would remain the “House of Bread” with the harvesting of the fields and the flocks of sheep in pasture. Ruth has set the stage for David, and David will set the stage for Jesus, Son of David. Bethlehem will remain center stage because of the honor, sacrifice, love and devotion in the story of Ruth. And a thousand years later, Bethlehem is again center stage but this time for the entire world. Honor, sacrifice, love and devotion permeate this House of Bread again as the Bread of Life is ushered into human life on earth. A feed trough, a stable, lamb and oxen present in kind, royal kings and wise men from afar, poor shepherds from nearby fields, angels in bright array, Mary and Joseph—-all assemble under one star of light to view God’s miracle on Christmas night, the birth of God in flesh, the Savior of mankind, the Bread of Life born in Bethlehem, the House of Bread: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-17

Honor, sacrifice, love and devotion appeared to the world that night in Bethlehem: I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:48-51

Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to [email protected]

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