The No Woe Zone

 

The Birth of Jesus

Matthew 1, 2; Mark 1; Luke 1, 2; John 1

 

What does the Bible tell us about the birth of Jesus? Gabe knows all about it, because he was there.

 

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In the town of Nazareth there lived a young woman named Mary. She had a contract to marry a man named Joseph. The angel Gabriel appeared to her.

 

 

Gabe said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

 

Mary was confused and didn't know what he meant.

 

Gabe said, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”

 

Mary said “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

 

Gabe said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

 

Mary had faith and believed. She said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”

 

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Joseph found out that Mary was already with child. He was a righteous man and did not want to embarrass her, so he planned to quietly break their marriage contract. But an Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Mary as his wife. They would call the child Jesus, who would save His people from their sins. The Angel also revealed in the dream the prophecy of Isaiah, "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

 

Joseph married Mary. He kept her a virgin until after Jesus was born.

 

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Joseph and Mary had to go Bethlehem to be counted for taxes. There were so many people in town that there was no room for them at the Inn. They had to stay in the barn. At that time Mary gave birth to Jesus. There was no bed so she laid him in a manger, which was for feeding animals.

 

Nearby there were shepherds in the field keeping watch over their flock that night. An Angel appeared to them. The glory of the Lord shined brightly around them, and the shepherds were afraid.

 

The Angel said, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 

Many angels appeared with the other Angel. They said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

 

The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem. They found Joseph and Mary. The saw the baby Jesus as He lay in the manger. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen.

 

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After Jesus was born the Magi, or Wise Men, came from the east to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

 

Bad King Herod was unhappy that there was another king to challenge him. He tried to trick these Wise Men into going to Bethlehem and then telling him where to find that King, Jesus.

 
The Wise Men went to Bethlehem and found baby Jesus in the manger. They worshiped him and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (valuable incense). When they left they went a different way where Herod could not question them.

Joseph had a dream that warned him about Herod. He and Mary and baby Jesus also left by a different way and hid in Egypt.

 

Herod was very angry. He still hoped to kill Jesus, so he sent his soldiers to Bethlehem. They killed all the boy babies there who were under two years old, hoping to also kill baby Jesus.

 

After Herod was dead Jesus returned with his family. They lived in a town called Nazareth. There he learned to be a carpenter like Joseph.

 

PS

 

The birth of Jesus, God's Son, is now celebrated as Christmas on December 25. Recent research has shown that Jesus was born on that day in 5 BC. Some adults may want to review that HERE.

 

What was special about that day? December 25 in 5 BC was also the Jewish day Kislev 25, which is Hanukkah. This day celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Jews defeated the Syrians. There was only enough holy oil to last one day, but it burned miraculously eight days. This day is also known as the Feast or Festival of Lights.

 
The lights are now those on a menorah, a candle holder with four candles on each side of a taller candle. Remember Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world."? [John 8:12] Since Jesus was born on Hanukkah, might He not be represented by that tall light in the center of the menorah? Jesus was first the Messiah to the Jews. Maybe we should put a menorah in our Nativity scene with baby Jesus.


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