It’s a common mistake. Anyone could make it. Someone would ask me, “Where’s Jesus from?” My first response used to be “Nazareth” or “Bethelehem”. After all, He is called a “Nazarene” for a reason. He grew up and lived most of his life in Nazareth. But when we look to the gospels we find that even though Jesus’ family lived in Nazareth, He was not actually born there. Both Matthew and Luke record the birthplace of Jesus as Bethlehem in Judea. What is more, Jesus’ parents were both descended from David’s house. David was a Judean (of the tribe of Judah) and his family was from Bethlehem. The implication of Luke’s record about the tax census in Luke chapter two is that his mother’s husband, Joseph, had to go to Bethlehem to register because Joseph was born there too. So, it would not be accurate to say Jesus was really “from Nazareth” as a place of origin. But He wasn’t really from Bethlehem either. John makes it clear in both chapter one and in chapter two of his Gospel that Jesus came down from Heaven to Earth. He didn’t come into being or begin to exist when He was conceived in the womb of Mary. So, is Jesus from Heaven? Colossians chapter one makes it clear that God created all things “by” or through Christ. John Chapter one tells us that “all things were made by Him” and that “without Him was not anything made that was made”. The first statement of the Torah in Genesis declares that God created “the Heaven”. So, if God created the Heaven and God created everything that was made “by” Jesus and without Jesus nothing was made that was made, then, Jesus made the Heavens. And if Jesus made it, then He didn’t come from there originally. He came from Nazareth when He came to be baptized and begin his ministry. He came from Bethlehem to Nazareth, by way of Egypt. He came down from the Glorious Heaven to Earth. But Jesus can’t be originally “from” any of these places because He made them all and must then have pre-existed them all.
So, where does Jesus come from? Or in a broader sense, where does God come from? An often overlooked profit who lived at the same time as Isaiah named Micah gives us the clearest answer to this question in chapter five of the book that bears his name. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, (though) thou be little among the thousands of Judah, (yet) out of thee shall he come forth unto me (that is) to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth (have been) from of old, from everlasting. (Micah 5:2)
Jesus has been “going forth” from “of old”. His original hometown is before time, before space, before creation. He is “from everlasting.” This is one of the clearest teachings about God and Christ in the Bible. God is truly Timeless. Omnipresent through time as He is through space. Not a creature in time, but the Creator of time. And if Jesus is older than the years, than what does that mean? How can I relate to Him? I can kind of conceive of Everlasting future. From the moment of my new birth in Christ when I repented of my sins and believed the gospel, I have been living eternally. My body may decay, but in truth, I cannot die. But, both my temporal physical life and my eternal spiritual life have definite beginnings. When my parents love brought them to intimate joining and God blessed their union by quickening my life within my mother’s womb, I began to live in time physically. When the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin, convinced me of the gospel, and called me to repentance and faith, and I responded to His voice, I began to live in Eternity spiritually. Each of those two kinds of life that are in me have a source and a beginning. I can kind of understand it. But, God is not a creature. He has no point of origin. No genuine “nativity”. The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit have been “going forth” from “of old”. They are “from” a place called “Everlasting”.
I may not claim to ascertain the meaning of that. But I have laid claim to the message in it. My God Who is my Father is bigger than the moment I am trapped in. He’s more available than a heartbeat away. He’s going to outlast the Kings and Presidents and Prime Ministers of all temporal Kingdoms and Republics of men. He will still be God when I run out of Time. He has been God when the Old World perished in the Flood. He was God enough to save Adam’s seed through the Ark of Noah. He was God enough to stop Abraham’s hand from sacrificing Isaac. He was God enough to deliver Goliath into David’s hand and the Kingdom to His posterity. He was God enough to bear the darkness of Golgotha. And God enough to be the Sonrise of that first Easter Sunday. He was God enough keep the candles burning in the Lord’s persecuted churches through those Dark days that stretched into Dark Ages. He is God enough hold me when I earthly parents die. When my children make choices that break their parents’ hearts, He’ll be God enough. When this world finally spins out of all control but His, He’ll be God enough to take His children home, and set His wrath in motion. And when His fury has been spent, He’ll be God enough to come in Person to heal the land that He made. Whenever the days are too long and the hours are too full of Darkness, I know that He is still God enough, because He not only will be forevermore, He already has been fromevermore.