As Christians, this world is not our home. We are sojourners and exiles in this world (see 1 Pt. 2:11). We are citizens of heaven (see Phil. 3:20). Like Abraham, we look “… forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10 ESV). How, then, should we live as exiles?
Christians are not promised health, wealth, and prosperity on this earth. Instead, the Bible says that Christians are going to suffer as they pilgrim through this life. Peter writes, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Pt. 4:12-13 ESV).
There’s a beautiful story in Luke 24, shortly after the resurrection account, of some disciples walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus. But they fail to recognize who He is.
Several passages in Scripture reveal the beauty of the gospel. One of them is Titus 2:11-14.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness, and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (ESV).
Most of us are familiar with the birthplace of Christ.
“O little town of Bethlehem, / How still we see thee lie! / Above thy deep and dreamless sleep / The silent stars go by.”
“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant! / O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!”
“Joyful, all ye nations, rise, / join the triumph of the skies; / with th’angelic hosts proclaim, ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem!’”
Indeed, He is. And we see the significance of this location in our passage this week.