My all-time favorite drama is Our Town, written in 1937 by Thornton Wilder and performed for the first time in 1938, the year of my birth.
I witnessed Our Town my first time in 1953 when I was in junior high school. It impacted me so profoundly that I wept on and off for three days afterwards. It is a story about family life in a small New Hampshire town, Grover’s Corners, at the turn of the 20th Century. It is a deceptively simple, down-to-earth story that emphasizes the beauty and sacredness of life.
There is a scene in the play where a sister shares an insight with her brother:
Rebecca: I never told you about a letter Jane Crofut got from her minister when she was sick. He wrote Jane a letter, and on the envelope the address was like this — It said: “Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Grover’s Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America.”
George: What’s funny about that?
Rebecca: But listen, it’s not finished: “The United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God” — that’s what it said on the envelope.
In similar manner, each of us has a unique address, and so did the Messiah. His address was spelled out in advance in Bible prophecy:
- From the Shemite branch of humanity (Genesis 9:26 and Luke 3:36).
- Through Abraham (Genesis 12:3 and Matthew 1:1).
- Through Abraham’s son, Isaac (Genesis 17:21 and Luke 3:34).
- Through Isaac’s son, Jacob (Genesis 28:14 and Luke 3:34).
- Through the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:8 and Luke 3:33-34).
- Through the family of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1 and Luke 3:32).
- Through the house of David (Jeremiah 23:5 and Luke 3:31-32).
- Through a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 2:11).
- In the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:1).
- And would reside in Nazareth (Matthew 2:23).
Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary of Nazareth, fulfilled every one of these prophecies, and in doing so, there should be no doubt that He was the Messiah promised by God through the Hebrew prophets.
And please note that when the prophet Micah said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, he specified, “Bethlehem, Ephrathah.” What was that all about? At the time Micah wrote, there were two Bethlehems in Israel, one in the north near the Sea of Galilee and the other just south of Jerusalem in the area called Ephrathah. Micah prophesied exactly which Bethlehem would be the birthplace — 700 years before Jesus was born.