In a small town Nazareth, there lived a young girl, Mary by name.
She has got an open heart and she loved God very much. Once Angel Gabriel* came to her.
He was sent by God. The angel told her that she would give birth to a son whose name would be Jesus.
In some time Mary and her husband Joseph started off to Bethlehem. The way was long. They went for several days. When they came to Bethlehem, they had no place to live in. Little time was left till Jesus’ birth. That is why they stayed in a cattleshed which was situated nearby.
Mary gave birth to their son there. She swaddles him and put into a crib.
That night herdsmen were grazing sheep on the fields near Bethlehem. Suddenly an angel appeared in front of them and said, “Do not be afraid. I am announcing great joy to you – God’s son has been born – Jesus. You will find the baby in swaddling clothes lying in the crib”.
And all of a sudden together with the angel there appeared the heavenly army praising God.
And the herdsmen hurried to the cattleshed. They found the baby there and bowed down to him.
When Jesus was born, a star started sparkling in the sky announcing about the birth of Jesus.
From different sides, three Sages (Magi) came following the light of that star *.
The sages entered the cattleshed which the light of the star pointed at. Seeing Mary with the baby there, they bowed down and offered gifts to them: gold, incense and oil.
Jesus was born on Earth to teach people to forgive. During all His life He worked great miracles and gave people the light of truth…
Since that time people have become able to forgive and find light in themselves.
And Christmas star starts sparkling in the sky reminding us about Shri Jesus and His forgiveness. Its light lights all Christmas stars on X-mas trees and in our hearts…
* By the way, did you know that, according to the Hindu tration, Angel Gabriel is Shri Hanuman, and the three Sages (the three Magi) are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
There have been many important births since the dawn of humanity. Consider the births of the scientists who have given us things that make life easier. There have been researchers who have discovered treatments and cures for diseases and ailments. Great humanitarians who, through their tireless efforts, have eased the pain of many and helped them live productive lives. The births of those who grew up to be preachers and missionaries have blessed those to whom they have ministered. However, one birth stands far above the rest. It is the most important birth there ever was or ever will be. It is the birth of Jesus Christ.
Table of contents
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)
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 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.
I am purposefully avoiding too much theological pondering in this article. I want to focus on what it would have been like that night with Joseph and Mary. They had traveled roughly 70 miles from their hometown in order to participate in this census. However, that was just what was taking place on the outside. Their spirits must have been soaring, knowing what the angels had told them, knowing the time was near for Mary to give birth to God’s Son, knowing that they had been chosen to participate in this incredible plan of God’s to save mankind from sin. The hardships of the journey, and their lack of better accommodations, could hardly have made a dent in the overwhelming joy they must have been experiencing. It just seems reasonable that a loving God would bless their experience in a most powerful way. This was God coming into the world in human flesh. I cannot help picture the entire event as something blessed by God in a way that is unique to that particular time and place. What an incredible story. Truly, the greatest story ever told.
The Christmas story of Jesus’ birth has always been special to me. The warmth I feel in my heart at Christmas time is more than the hot chocolate, or the Christmas tree lights at night, or any of the other fond memories I have of the holiday season. It feels like God spreads His love on humanity a little thicker during the Christmas season. It is as if He is reminding us that the gift of His Son, that He gave us so many years ago, should convince us of His love for us. A love that we should all seek to emulate and share with others.
Christmas should be a celebration of the birth of the Savior. It is my prayer that, this Christmas season, Christians will lovingly and prayerfully take the lead in turning the holidays back into a time of reflection on, and worship of, Jesus Christ.
“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17 ESV).
Interested in reading more about Jesus and Christmas? Check out these articles:
Christmas Bible verses
10 Interesting Bible Facts about Jesus
10 Good Christmas Traditions
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV)
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Before the birth of Jesus
Just as Jesus performed many miracles throughout His life, the circumstances of His birth were also miraculous. However, the story of Christmas didn’t start in the stable at Bethlehem where He was born. For hundreds of years, prophets—holy men called to preach the words of God to His children—told of Jesus’s eventual coming.
The prophet Isaiah, who lived hundreds of years before Jesus, gave many prophecies concerning the coming of the Savior. “For unto us a child is born,” Isaiah wrote, “unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). This prophecy referred to Christ’s power and authority as the Son of God. Isaiah also prophesied, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Isaiah told of a savior who would come to earth to save humankind from sin and death. Many other prophets predicted Jesus’s coming and tried to prepare the people for His birth. You can find their words in the books of the Old Testament.
Mary, the mother of Jesus
The virgin of whom Isaiah prophesied was a young woman of Jerusalem named Mary. She was engaged to be married when she was visited by an angel. The angel told her she had found favor with God and that through a miracle she would conceive and give birth to the son of God. Mary wondered how this could be, since she was a virgin, but the angel reminded her that “with God nothing shall be impossible” (see Luke 1:26–37).
The man to whom Mary was engaged was a carpenter and a good man named Joseph. When he first heard that Mary was expecting, he was afraid of the scandal it might cause (see Matthew 1:19). However, an angel appeared to him in a dream and calmed his fears, saying, “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20–21).
The birth of Jesus Christ
Today, you might commemorate Christmas by placing a Nativity set in your home. These Nativity sets depict figures representing the visitors who came to worship the baby Jesus. Heavenly ministers and signs led faithful people to the young Jesus so they could pay their respects.
No room in the inn
As the day of Jesus’s birth approached, Joseph left his home in Nazareth to take part in a census (see Luke 2:1–4). He brought Mary along and cared for her during their journey. They went to Bethlehem, the town where Joseph’s ancestors had lived, in order to fulfill their civic obligations. While they were there, “the days were accomplished that she should be delivered” (Luke 2:6), and Bethlehem became Jesus’s birthplace. “And brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). Though King of kings, Jesus was born in a humble stable.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). These humble people were blessed to be visited by an angel, who told them not to fear and said, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11). The angel told them how to find the baby Jesus, and then other angels also appeared, praising God and singing. The shepherds quickly left their flocks and found the manger where Jesus had been born. They then shared with those around them the wonder of what they had seen.
The Three Wise Men
One of the promised signs of Christ’s birth was a new star in the sky. A group of “wise men from the east,” having seen the star, desired to find and worship the newborn Savior (see Matthew 2:1–2). When Herod, the king of the Jews, heard of the birth of Jesus, he mistakenly thought that the Savior would try to steal his authority and jealously tried to protect his position. He told the Wise Men to find Jesus and then tell him where to find the young boy, secretly planning to harm the child. At some point after Jesus’s birth, the Wise Men found Him: “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11). But instead of returning to Herod, they went by another way back to their homelands, having been warned in a dream of Herod’s evil intentions.
The Book of Mormon also tells of Jesus’s birth
The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture in which events in the ancient Americas are recorded. You can learn more about the birth of Jesus by reading this sacred book.
Samuel the Lamanite
A Book of Mormon prophet named Samuel the Lamanite foresaw the birth of Jesus and tried to tell the people about it. “Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe in his name” (Helaman 14:2). Samuel told of a sign that would mark Jesus’s coming: the new star the Wise Men would see. Samuel also told of other “signs and wonders” such as a day, a night, and another day that would pass without darkness (see Helaman 14:3–6).
Some people believed Samuel, while others did not. Many of those who didn’t believe Samuel planned to put the believers to death unless the prophecy came true (see 3 Nephi 1:9). Aware of the danger but firm in their conviction, the believers waited faithfully for the signs to be given. Sure enough, the signs were given, and those who believed the words of the prophet Samuel the Lamanite praised God. (See 3 Nephi 1:1–19.) “And it came to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets” (3 Nephi 1:20).
The birth of Jesus Christ was foretold by prophets across the world and was one of the most important events in human history. Jesus Christ is important to all of us, including how He can help each of us overcome our sins and sorrows. Just like the shepherds, you too can find “good tidings of great joy” as you learn about Christ (see Luke 2:10).
Ask someone how the birth of Jesus Christ has blessed his or her life. Chat now.
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Have you ever stopped to think about the deeper meaning of the birth of Jesus Christ? Although many people, even unbelievers, have heard the story of Jesus’ birth, its real significance may be missed because of that familiarity with the “story” aspect.
The birth of Jesus Christ—a momentous event
The birth of Christ was not the ordinary birth of an ordinary man. It was the birth of the most unique Person in history. The birth of Jesus Christ was the incarnation of God Himself. In other words, the very God became a man. The significance of this is profound and will take all eternity for us to appreciate. The conception and birth of Jesus Christ was the mingling of God with humanity. Such a thing had never occurred before.
John 1:14 says that the Word, the eternal God Himself, became flesh, meaning the man Jesus. When this happened, the eternal God stepped out of eternity into time to become a man of flesh and blood. Jesus Christ was indeed a genuine man, but at the same time, He was God. He is both fully God and fully man.
In this post, we’ll use verses and notes from the Recovery Version to get a glimpse into the deep significance of Jesus’ birth to strengthen our appreciation of our dear Savior God.
The mysterious birth of Jesus was prophesied in the Old Testament.
About 700 years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah prophesied concerning the Jesus’ birth, saying in Isaiah 7:14,
“The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and will bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel.”
This prophecy was fulfilled in Christ’s birth—a son, born through divine conception in a virgin, without a human father. He was to be called Immanuel, which means “God with us.” This son born of a human virgin was the very God with us.
A couple of chapters later, Isaiah prophesied about the birth of Jesus again, saying in Isaiah 9:6:
“For a child is born to us, / A Son is given to us…/ And His name will be called / Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Note 1 on this verse in the Recovery Version opens a window into what it means for Christ to be both a child and the Mighty God, a Son given to us, and the Eternal Father.
“The child born of a human virgin is the Son given by the eternal Father. Christ is the child born of both the divine and human natures (Matt.1:20-23) and He is also the Son in the divine nature given by the eternal Father. Through the birth of the divine-human child, the Eternal Father gave us His divine Son as a gift. Through such a giving, everyone who believes in, i.e., receives, this dear Son receives eternal life (John 3:16; 1 John 5:11-12).”
The mysterious birth of Jesus was fulfilled in the New Testament.
The New Testament provides us a record of the actual events surrounding Christ’s birth. Through this record we can appreciate the step God took to give us His dear Son to us to be our Savior and our life.
Matthew 1:18 tells us how this virgin birth came about.
“Now the origin of Jesus Christ was in this way: His mother, Mary, after she had been engaged to Joseph, before they came together, was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.”
Note 1 on this verse explains what this phrase “of the Holy Spirit” means regarding Christ.
“Although Christ was born of Mary (v. 16), He was a child of the Holy Spirit. The birth of Christ was directly of the Holy Spirit (v. 20). His source was the Holy Spirit and His element was divine. Through the virgin Mary He put on flesh and blood, the human nature, taking the likeness of the flesh (Rom. 8:3), the likeness of men (Phil. 2:7).”
Then, in Matthew 1:20, an angel of the Lord visited Joseph to assure him of this divine fact.
“But while he pondered 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 Mary your wife, for that which has been begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.”
The first note on this verse points out what God revealed about Christ in His assurance to Joseph.
“God was first born into Mary through His Spirit; after the conception was completed, He, with the human nature, was born to be a God-man, possessing both divinity and humanity. This is the origin of Christ.”
Many years later, in recounting this mysterious story, the aged apostle John made these profound statements in John 1:1 and 14:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
“And the Word became flesh.”
The words from these two verses, simple, yet profound, indicate clearly that the Word was God from eternity, and that the Word—God—became flesh in time.
Note 2 on verse 14 speaks further about what this means.
“Romans 8:3 indicates that although this flesh was the flesh of sin, it had only the likeness of the flesh of sin and did not have the sin of the flesh. It is the Word who became such flesh, and this Word was God, the complete Triune God (v. 1). That the Word became flesh means that the Triune God became a man of flesh in the likeness of a sinful man. By so doing God entered into sinful man and became one with sinful man. However, He had only the likeness of a sinful man and not the sin of a sinful man. Hence, He was a sinless God-man, the complete God and the perfect man, having two natures, the divine nature and the human nature.” (Read the full note here.)
How does the truth regarding Christ’s birth affect us today?
Firstly, to be a genuine Christian, we must believe that Jesus Christ is more than a holy man, a prophet, or a martyr. He is the complete, eternal God come in the flesh. This is a basic item of the Christian faith.
As Christians, by prayerfully considering the Bible, especially the verses covered in this post, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the birth of Jesus Christ. God did not save us by somehow reaching down from the heavens in an objective way. The unapproachable God Himself became an approachable, contactable, knowable man. What a mysterious and yet wondrous fact! Our God became a man, experiencing everything of human life and living a perfect, sinless human life. And eventually, He went in His body of flesh and blood to die on the cross for us!
Through His incarnation, God was expressed in a man, Jesus Christ, in the flesh. Jesus, who was born in the manger, fully expressed the very God in all His rich being and Person to mankind. God’s love, mercy, righteousness, holiness, compassion, and glory were and still are expressed in the humanity of Christ.
By believing into the Lord Jesus Christ, we are saved and receive Jesus—the one who lived a perfect human life that expressed the true God—as our Savior and our life.
If you’ve never done so before, you can receive Him right now by praying this prayer.
“Lord Jesus, I believe that You are both the complete God and a perfect man. Thank You for being born with our humanity and becoming a real and genuine man with both divinity and humanity. Thank You for dying for my sins. Lord, I receive You right now. Thank You for coming into me to be my life. Lord, live out in me Your wonderful life that expresses God.”
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