Christmas Message on the Birth of Christ
The following is my sermon notes at Christ Bible Church on Sunday, December 14, 2014. The title of the message today is: The Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will be looking at the virgin birth, the deity of Christ & the impeccability of Christ. Our main text is found in Matthew 1: 18-25. As way of introduction I want to give an overview on the birth of Christ. This is recorded in two of the four Gospels; Matthew & Luke.
I use to be in the construction business and in building they have these “glue-lam beams”. These are made with layers of wood laminated together to make one large strong beam for bearing walls etc. Once the beam is made it is impossible to separate these layers although you can saw through them, you cannot break them apart but they have become one piece.
In a similar fashion the person of Jesus Christ and His works through the essential doctrines of the faith are layered and glued together making it impossible to separate them. You cannot have one without the others. Today we will be looking at the birth of Christ and we will see how this particular layer fits into the whole.
Layered immediately next to the birth of Christ of course is the virgin birth, and also, the deity of Christ, and the impeccability of Christ. We will be discussing this as well.
Overview of the Birth of Christ
|Genealogy – Christ through Solomon||Genealogy – Christ through Nathan|
|Focuses on Joseph||Focuses on Mary|
|Angel Appears to Joseph in Dream||Birth Announcement to Mary|
|Jesus Born in Bethlehem||Jesus Born in Bethlehem in Detail|
|Magi Follow Star From East||Angels Announce Birth to Shepard’s|
|Magi Present Gifts to Child Jesus||Jesus Brought to Temple in Jerusalem|
|Flight to Egypt / Child Massacre Bethlehem||Joseph & Mary Settle in Galilee|
Main Text Matthew 1:18-25
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
Verse by Verse Exposition
Matthew 1: 18-25
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
Birth of Jesus Christ: Jesus was born. He didn’t arrive on UFOs. I suppose it is within God’s scope to have Jesus come into the world not being born and still remain sinless and accomplish everything he needed to. John 7:27 “However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.” It is not unreasonable to think that perhaps many of the Jews expected the Christ to just appear. Maybe like Melchizedek. This is common human thought; God would just appear out of thin air.
Betrothal: Cultural Context: According to standard Jewish custom of the time of Jesus, girls were betrothed around the age of twelve to fourteen. During the betrothal period, which lasted about a year, the marriage was not consummated and the bride remained in her parents’ house. Betrothal was formalized by a contract regulating such matters as the transfer of property and provision for the wife and children should the husband die. Voiding the contract required a divorce document freeing the girl to remarry.
Before They Came Together, Mary had conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit before they were married.
Found With Child: There were no pregnancy tests they could get at the drug store back then. If fact it is very possible that poorer pregnant women didn’t even see a doctor, let alone a gynecologist. To be found with child is when the woman would start to expand assuming this was not a case of eating a lot of food. Matthew plainly says however that it was of the Holy Spirit
Supporting Text: Luke 1:26-38
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
Her Husband: Even though they are in the betrothal period Joseph is called her husband. Later in the verses it also refers to Mary as his wife.
Being a Just Man: Joseph was a just man. He displays this in his thoughts; one being that he cannot marry her because this would go against his convictions about God concerning fidelity. Also he didn’t want to bring Mary into open shame. How often would someone go through with it without caring about the integrity of the institution or the person? Samson was a man who had a problem with being attracted to women of low degree, or ill repute.
Public Example vs. Putting Away Secretly: Had this happened under Israel’s theocracy she could have been stoned. However during this time period the Jewish nation being somewhat slack under Rome there were basically two choices for Joseph. He could have brought on her a public trial to shame her and ruin her reputation, or he could have a meeting with all parties and have a divorce discreetly and privately. The private discreet option was the one Joseph was considering.
20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
Joseph Thoughts: this is something that needs to be appreciated. Imagine being in Joseph’s shoes. Your fiancé winding up pregnant and you know that it wasn’t you.
Angelic Appearance: We don’t know if this was Gabriel. It doesn’t say. There were a lot of angels present surrounding the birth of Christ: angel appears to Zacharias, to Mary, to Joseph in a dream, to the Sheppard’s.
This is the first of four angelic appearances to Joseph. The second was in a dream to flee to Egypt, then to return to Israel, then to settle in Nazareth of Galilee (last one just says dream).
Son of David: this is the only time this term is used in the NT for anyone other than the Messiah. Notice the little “s” Joseph was in fact of the linage of King David. Although he knew this the angel confirms it.
Do Not Be Afraid: In contrast, both the angel to Zechariah and Mary, told them not to be afraid of the angel’s appearance. In this case the angel focuses on the issue at hand. The instruction is to take Mary as wife and this must have been great relief. There is never any mention of him having doubt after this encounter.
Holy Spirit Conception: the inspiration of God’s word tells us that Mary’s child is from God Himself. Luke also confirms this as we read earlier.
21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
A Son: the Son of God (expound more impromptu)
The Name Jesus: the name given to both Joseph and Mary before the child was conceived. And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. Luke 2:21
He Will Save: Who will save? Jesus and Him alone will save us. We as sinners need salvation. There is salvation in no other… we are save by the work of Christ alone. It if offered as a free gift. By grace we have been saved…
Save His People: This initially to be thought of the Jewish people but we know now that it is all of God’s elect scattered abroad. It is interesting in the prophecy of Simeon at the circumcision of baby Jesus that he mentions the Gentiles; Luke 2:29-32 Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”
Sin: Sin is lawlessness. All have sinned and fall short… it is sin that separates us from God.
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
Fulfillment: the way these fulfilled prophecies are described is interesting. It gives the idea that instead of these things happening because God knows the future, they happen in order to fulfill the Scriptures. One example; John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
“Almah” vs. “Parthenos” The Hebrew word in Isaiah 7:14 is almah. Therefore a virgin shall conceive, as “a young woman shall conceive.” Now the word does mean “a young woman.” A couple of years ago I watched a youtube video on this very subject. A Jewish Hebrew scholar, a Christian man gave about an hour discourse on this passage and the word almah. He never went to the Greek Septuagint and discussed Parthenos. The problem is I cannot remember all of it to articulate it to someone else so:
Just remember 3 things:
- Matthew tells us plainly that Christ was virgin born by explaining the prophecy’s fulfillment. Luke also does this.
- If it were just a young woman what kind of sign would that be? Young woman have babies every day.
- Jesus entered the world miraculously, had a miraculous life & ministry, rose from the dead, and miraculously went back into heaven.
Historically: The virgin birth was universally accepted in the Christian church by the 2nd century, except for several minor sects, was not seriously challenged until the 18th century. It remains a basic article of belief in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and most Protestant churches. The early church fathers, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene and Chalcedon Creeds, the Lutheran Augsburg Confession, the Reformed Belgic Confession, the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, London Baptist Confession, and the Westminster Confession of Faith all bear witness to the church’s faith in the virgin birth. However, in recent years some Bible scholars have questioned the veracity and challenged the importance of this doctrine. Some within the church no longer believe it to be true.
Modern Liberalism: In 1976 a ministerial student of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote a doctoral thesis entitled, “A Sociological Analysis of the Degrees of Christian Orthodoxy among Selected Students in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.” After collating statistics, he concluded that “the more education seminary students receive at Southern Seminary, the less likely they believe that the Bible is true.” The figures are staggering with reference to the virgin birth. After attending seminary, 33% of the students lost their faith in the virgin birth!
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1976). Of course, a lot has changed since this thesis was published. Under the leadership of Dr. Albert Mohler, SBTS has resumed its commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture and evangelical doctrine.
Immaculate Conception: The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is to be distinct from the heresy of the Roman Catholic Church entitled; the Immaculate Conception. This is where she (Mary) is believed to have been conceived in the normal way but free from original sin.
Virgin Birth Myths: I want to mention briefly some other so called “virgin births” from other religions and myths that are out there and have been for quite some time. The author of these is the devil who is the great adversary against God and deceives, imitates, and counterfeits. One example is Alexander the Great. He was supposed to have been conceived by his virgin mother as she had relations with Zeus as he was in the form of a snake. These vial and crass fantasies are not worthy to be compared to the miracle of God. So that is all I want to say on that.
Parthenogenesis: This is processes in which certain animals which are basically asexual and can produce offspring without their counterpart. Without getting into a long study in biology (which is far beyond my scope of expertise) I would just bring up this point: if ever through this process they were ever to create a human virgin birth it would always be a female because of the missing male chromosome. The virgin birth of or Lord was a biological miracle and there is no way to understand or to describe exactly how it happen. It is hard enough to explain a natural birth process. Ecc 11:5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
Immanuel – God with Us: This could be a series of sermons but we want to tackle the basics. Quote John 1:1-14 then let’s look at the prophecy in Micah 5:2. Elaborate on this aspect at the time impromptu.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” Micah 5:2
24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
Joseph’s obedience is a result of his fear of the Lord and himself being a Godly man.
LIFE LESSON: Obedience is the key for blessing in our life.
25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
Did Not Know Her: Joseph and Mary refrained from any sexual relations until after Jesus was born. We know that they had other children. The virgin birth of Jesus is also distinct from the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, the belief that Mary remained a virgin for her entire life. In John chapter 7 Jesus is discussing things with his brothers. Matthew 12:46, Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31 say that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him. The Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named or numbered (Matthew 13:56).
Implications of Virgin Birth:
How Can David Call His Descendant Lord? Matt 22:41-46 while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make your enemies your footstool” ’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore. Also; (Mark 12:35–37; Luke 20:41–44)
The Curse: Without the virgin birth, we cannot have a messiah. It is impossible. There was the curse on the line of David on Jeconiah. Not sure if I have time for this or want to tackle this aspect other than to mention the basics.
“Thus says the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.”(Jeremiah 22:30)
2Sa 7:12-16 12 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 “But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took [it] from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” ‘ “
Psalm 132:11-12 11 The LORD has sworn [in] truth to David; He will not turn from it: “I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body. 12 If your sons will keep My covenant And My testimony which I shall teach them, Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore.”
“And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:” Acts 13:22-23
The Impeccability of Christ: Did Jesus Christ ever sin? No. Could He have sinned? Many Christians say, “Yes.” The answer is no. It is what we call the impeccability of Christ. This is the incapability to sin. Christ who is God could in no way ever sin. “Christ was not only able to overcome temptation, but He was unable to be overcome by it.” By Arthur Pink
2 Corinth 5:21 – Heb 4:15 – 1 John 3:
Now, the sinlessness of Christ is a crucial issue to our salvation. If Christ had sinned, then He would have to pay for His own sin. If I asked you, “Do you have to believe in the virgin birth in order to be a true born-again child of God?” The answer is yes, even though when you received Christ you may not have understood it. The believing heart reading about it knows it had to be. Therefore, anybody who denies the virgin birth as a biological miracle, actively denies it upon hearing of the facts, is in fact, a non-believer.
Close in Prayer
Sermon note sheet in bulletin:
- Announcement of the Virgin Birth
- Fulfillment of the Virgin Birth
- Implications of the Virgin Birth
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
Notes: Matthew focuses on the Messiah’s relationship to two people; Abraham & David. As we know, the Messiah had to belong to the lineage of David and of course Abraham is the father of the Jewish nation. Four women are included in this genealogy unlike the O.T. They are: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and the wife of Uriah (Bathsheba). Jeconiah is mentioned (curse on David’s line here) Joseph is mentioned as the husband of Mary, not the father of Jesus. Matthew’s list could be verified by temple records. With the temple being destroyed in 70 AD no one could prove today that they are the Messiah, not being able to be traced back to David, however there is no need since Messiah has come – God’s great design!
Gabriel Announces Birth of Messiah to Mary
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? “For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy, “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Angel Appears to Joseph
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
Jesus Born In Bethlehem
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Angels Announce Birth To Shepard’s
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Jesus Brought To Temple In Jerusalem
And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against “(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Magi Follow His Star From East
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
Magi Present Gifts To The Child Jesus
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
Flight To Egypt
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
Child Massacre in Bethlehem
Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”
Mary & Joseph Settle In Galilee
Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
All Scripture is from the New King James Version, © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Prophecies Concerning The Birth Of Christ
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting. Micah 5:2
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. Hosea 11:1
Thus says the LORD: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6