Micah: A King who’s a small-town kid
Thomas D. Kock
I want him to understand me! I want him to relate to me!
Is that the goal of the reporter’s question?
People who find it hard to relate
During presidential campaigns, reporters sometimes ask the candidates if they know the price of milk or bread. They may not actually ask that question, but they want to know if the candidate “gets normal people.” It amuses me. Are most of our presidential candidates regularly in the local grocery stores, comparing the prices of bread or milk?!? I suppose that maybe some do. I don’t know.
Wouldn’t the difference be even more pronounced for those who are royalty? The prince who grows up in the palace, served by all sorts of people—what would he know about “normal people” or about “normal life”? Probably not much!
A God who “gets it”
Now let’s take it another step. What does God know about us humans? Oh, sure, one could say, “Everything, because he’s God,” and that would be completely accurate. On the other hand, he’s God! He’s all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent. He’s love. He’s the source of all things. What does God have in common with us humans? By nature, nothing.
So what does God do? God comes to earth, as a real human being. Yes, he comes as royalty. Jesus is the Son of David, the rightful heir to the throne.
But he’s also a small-town kid. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which at that time was a “nothing” little town, a “little sister” to Jerusalem, a few miles away. Jesus spends most of his childhood in Nazareth, in Galilee. The “upper crust” at that time looked down on the Galileans. Regarding Nazareth, Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46). By our parlance, Jesus is a small-town kid.
So what do we have? We have a Savior who “gets it.” He gets what it means to be a normal person, because that’s how he grew up. He grew up as a normal person in a normal place.
That means he gets you, and he gets me. He understands the challenges of life because he has experienced them. He understands the joys of life, the sorrows, the day-to-day grind. He “gets it”!
And yet he’s also the King! He’s the ruler of all, guiding and directing all things for your benefit, ruling the world for the good of his people.
What a combination! We serve God. We serve the King. He has all power. But we also serve a small-town kid. We serve someone who understands us through and through, the one who was born in a little town, in Bethlehem. He relates to you. He relates to me.
Yep, he knows the price of milk. Bread too.
Contributing editor Thomas Kock, a professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin, is a member at Atonement, Milwaukee.
This is the sixth article in a 12-part series on minor prophets
Name meaning: “Micah” means “who is like the Lord.”
Background: Contemporary of Isaiah (late 700s B.C., perhaps early 600s B.C.) from Moresheth (sometimes called Moresheth Gath, cf. 1:14), about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem.
Unique feature: Jeremiah 26:18 quotes Micah 3:12.
Key verse: 7:18: “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.”
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Author: Thomas Kock
Volume 105, Number 7
Issue: July 2018
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