How many old westerns have you watched? All the old cow towns depicted seemed to be the same. One main street stretched through town with a few buildings on each side. The street always held a saloon or two, a general store, livery stable, and, of course, a bank. A fairly common plot device involved villains robbing the bank. They usually had no problem finding it because a huge sign hung on the front of the building proclaiming it a bank.
The account of Christmas in Matthew also holds a villain. The wicked, jealous King Herod wanted to kill his rivals. When the Magi arrived saying the king of the Jews had been born, Herod wanted to know where. He consulted the priest and scribes, who consulted prophecies. Matthew 2:5-6 gives their answer, ‘They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: ‘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.’”’ (NIV)
This was a quotation of Micah 5:2 given 700 years before the birth of Jesus. Many people today scoff at the idea of prophecy. But Herod didn’t scoff. He used it to attempt the murder Jesus. But praise God who sent an angel to warn his parents and they fled to Egypt.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.