Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Notable Small Town Residents : The Bethlehem Candle


The Big Idea: About the second Advent candle called the Bethlehem Candle, giving insights on the town where Jesus was born.

The Bethlehem Candle of Advent

We light the second Advent candle to remember Bethlehem, known for the birth of Jesus. Some small towns are known for a famous citizen. While living down south we visited Plaines, GA, home town of former President Jimmy Carter. He grew up there and now resides there. We visited his church one Sunday and met the Carters.

Bethlehem, famous for the birth of Christ, is also famous as King David’s hometown. The story of Ruth happened in Bethlehem. Ruth is King David’s great grandmother.

Read this prophecy for Jesus’ birth written by the prophet Micah.
But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity. Micah 5:2 (NASB)

This prophecy was pinpointed by scholars to King Herod when the wise men came looking for Jesus (Matthew 2:5-8).

What you may not know about Bethlehem

Mary and Joseph, descendants of David, went to a census with mandated registration in their hometown, Bethlehem. Since they lived in Nazareth it was a long trip to walk. Though now a bustling metropolis, Bethlehem was a small village at that time.

A couple of interesting notes about Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth. The name means “House of Bread.” Very interesting that He who calls Himself “The Bread of Life, ” (John 6:35) would be born there.

Bethlehem raised lambs birthed for Passover. A Passover lamb had to be one year old and in perfect condition without blemishes or injuries. So the lambs born there were treated very carefully. Newborn lambs were wrapped in cloth to guard from injury. The shepherds were probably Levitical shepherds. Curious that the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29, Rev. 5:6) would be born there. Remarkable He was wrapped in swaddling cloth like the Passover Lambs. Also extraordinary Levitical shepherds were most likely those to whom the angels announced this glorious news (Luke 2:10-14). The Apostle Paul put Jesus’ sacrifice plainly. “Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed for us” I Corinthians 5:7b. (NLT)

The Bethlehem Candle represents where Jesus, King of Glory, took on human flesh and became a man who worked with His hands. This man, God made flesh, sacrificed Himself on the cross and rose victor over death. The Bethlehem candle is often called the Faith Candle. Faith in the Son of God is indeed our source of eternal life (Phil.2:6-8). This is so well explained in the familiar carol, “Hark the Harold Angels sing.”
Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled
Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem


Christ by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord
Late in time behold Him come, offspring of a virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the God-head see, hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel


Hail the heav'n born Prince of Peace, hail the Son of righteousness
Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth


Up Next: Levitical Shepherds: The Shepherd's Candle

Previous post: What is Prophecy?

Note: We have been in the process of going through a Pratical Starter Guide of Inductive Bible Study. We will resume this series in January.



1. What image comes up for you reflecting on Jesus born in Bethlehem? Close your eyes and reflect what the town and manger looks like to you. Think of the smells, the sounds around you.

2. Have you ever thought of the baby Jesus as the one who died and rose again for your sins?

3. Bible study exercise: List ways how Jesus might be like a Passover lamb (metaphor) during His time on earth. Reflect on that.