Good Morning All! Happy 24th and it’s Christmas Eve! Can you believe it’s here? I love this time of year and honestly get a little down when it’s all over. The build up is so much fun and I love all the fun events, memories, and of course buying and wrapping presents (yes I love to wrap). Sometimes we get caught up in all the hustle bustle and forget the true meaning of the special day of Christmas.
I’ve been blessed beyond mention and give all the glory to God. Because of my faith and the fact that He died on the cross to save me from my sins, I am forgiven and can live each day with hope and blessings. Times can be tough and during those times I know I can come out of them because I have the Holy Spirit inside of me. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, you can check out a few Bible verses to give you better understanding. I’ve listed them for you below. I found a wonderful blog post that I feel provides the best summary of the birth of Jesus much better than I can do, so I’m going to share that one with you. Here is the full article and my reposting of it. Please have a wonderful, blessed Christmas and I wish you and your families a wonderful day of celebration. God bless!
The Word became flesh (John 1:1-18)
Jesus’ coming in flesh as a man is called the ‘incarnation’, a word that means ‘in the flesh’. The clear record of the Bible tells us that Jesus is God in human form. First, we must remember that Jesus existed prior to His incarnation, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1-3, 14 ESV, cf. Colossians 1:15-17).
In one of Jesus’ prayers, He prays, “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:5 ESV). Clearly, Jesus did not begin His existence when He appeared as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem. He had already existed from eternity past.
Date of Jesus’ birth: c. 6 or 5 BC
Briefly, historians say the birth of Jesus occurred around 6 or 5 BC. The Bible tells us that Jesus was born in the “fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4-5). Jesus’ birth took place at the time in history God chose. He had promised humanity a Savior in Genesis (3:15); and then set about to prepare humanity for the Savior’s arrival. God’s providence had arranged everything to culminate in the birth of the Savior in that stable on that night. The birth of the One who would give His life to pay for our sins.
Gabriel visits Mary (Luke 1:26-38)
Luke 1:26-38 tells us the story of the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary. This must have been quite unnerving for Mary, a visit from a heavenly being telling her that she, a virgin, has been chosen to give birth to the Savior of the world. Mary was initially frightened until Gabriel told her that she had found favor with God. Gabriel explained to her that she would conceive a child by the power of the Holy Spirit. Believers rightly celebrate Jesus’ birth, but it was actually a normal birth; if being born in a stable can be called normal, that is. However, His conception was a one-time event that was unique in all of history.
The angel told Mary a few things about her soon-to-be-son:
He was to be called “Jesus” (1:31);
He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High (1:32);
God will give Him the throne of David (1:32);
there will be no end to His kingdom (1:33);
He will be called Holy-the Son of God (1:35).
Gabriel assured Mary these things would surely take place because, “…nothing will be impossible with God” (1:37 ESV). Mary and the angel ended their conversation with Mary humbling herself to the will of God.
Angel visits Joseph in a dream (Matthew 1:18-25)
Most believe that place was a stable, because the Bible says the baby Jesus was placed in a manger, which is a feeding trough for animals, at His birth.
At this time, Joseph and Mary were engaged to be married. In their culture, when a man and woman were engaged it was very much as if they were married, only without sexual relations. When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, he decided that he should divorce her without any publicity. Joseph was probably very confused about the situation. He believed he was marrying a virgin, and now he discovers that she is pregnant. People would think that Mary had been unfaithful to her spouse already. Still Joseph could have made a public spectacle of Mary, disgrace her publicly in order to preserve his pride. However, apparently, Joseph was a better man and decided to divorce Mary quietly.
However, God had other plans for Joseph. In Matthew 1:18-25, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream reassuring him that Mary’s pregnancy was a gift from God and that Joseph should not be afraid to take Mary as his wife. Once again, the angel included in its message that the baby’s name was to be “…Jesus, for he will save his people form their sins” (1:21 ESV). The name ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of a Hebrew word meaning “Jehovah [God] will save”. Even the name God gave Jesus testified to His mission in life. Believing the Word from God, Joseph took Mary as his wife.
Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7)
Caesar Augustus called for a census to be taken of all those dwelling in his realm. Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, but were required by the Roman government to make the trip to Bethlehem in order to register in the census. The census was taken in order to assess the population for tax purposes. Thus, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, even though his parents’ home was in Nazareth. This fulfilled the prophecy of His birth found in Micah 5:2.
Since this was the time of the census, the city of Bethlehem would be brimming with out-of-towners. For whatever reason, Joseph and Mary could find no suitable accommodations. Then, the time came for Jesus to be born. Apparently, Joseph and Mary searched for some place that she could deliver a baby in relative privacy. Most believe that place was a stable, because the Bible says the baby Jesus was placed in a manger, which is a feeding trough for animals, at His birth.