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. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace.
By the closing of the Old Testament, we have a full picture of what the Messiah would look like. He would be born of a Virgin from the House of David. He would be born in Bethlehem. He would bring peace and serve as a prophet. He would conquer death and be without sin.
Jesus did not conveniently line up with these prophesies. The prophesies were about Him. He has existed eternally. The prophets knew From God what Jesus would be because Jesus himself was the Word of God. As we head to the close of Advent and the start of Christmas, think about the extent of this. In eternity, God chose to save his people. Over thousands of years, he painted a picture of what that salvation would look like — a suffering servant born in Bethlehem, but also a prophet, a priest, and a king who would be a substitute for the people and born to die.
And on that day two thousand years ago when Jesus was born, hardly anyone noticed. Here was the King of Kings made low, born in a manger surrounded not by wise men and kings, but by shepherds and farm animals. God blessed us all, but he surprised us too. Even in our lives now, God shows up in unexpected places.