Health & Spirit

Why wasn't Jesus born in someplace important?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: Why wasn't Jesus born in someplace important, like Rome or another great city, instead of in an unimportant town in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire? Wouldn't He have had more influence? -- P.V.N.

A: Centuries before Jesus' birth, the Old Testament prophets foretold that someday the Savior of the World would be born in that supposedly insignificant part of the world. One even foretold the exact place of His birth: "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me the one who will be ruler over Israel" (Micah 5:2).

But why would God plan for the Savior of the World to be born in such an obscure place? One reason is obvious: Jesus came to be the Savior of all kinds of people, not just the rich or powerful. Can you imagine a more humble beginning -- born into a poor family, born in a stable? And yet by this God was demonstrating something very important: Christ came to save all kinds of people -- even you and me. The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

In another way, however, the place where Jesus was born is not insignificant. If you look at a map, you'll see that the land of His birth is uniquely placed, because it touches the three continents of the ancient world -- Africa, Asia, and Europe. Only decades after Christ's death and resurrection, His followers were able to preach the Gospel throughout the then-known world.

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The real question, however, is this: What influence has Christ had in your life? During this Christmas season, I invite you to open your heart and life to Him.


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:



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