7590 - The Christ Born as Jesus

Listen

The entrance into this world of the Son of God in human form was a humble one.

We have previously discussed how the angel Gabriel had appeared to a young virgin, perhaps around 16 years of age, named Mary who lived in Nazareth, and delivered God’s message to her that she had been chosen to be the human link in bringing God to mankind in human form. Her son would be the Son of God, the Son of the Most High. In faith Mary had responded favorably, in spite of the many possibilities for scandal, harassment and even the possibility of being rejected and stoned to death.

We have also discussed how God sent an angel to the father-to-be, Joseph, and instructed him to take Mary to his home in Nazareth as his wife. The two of them, although man and wife in legal terms, never had union until after Jesus was born.
Today’s passage comes about nine months after the angel appeared to Mary.

I will read Luke 2:1-14. Then we can talk together some more:
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Luke’s writing gives meticulous attention to details as he desired to present an orderly and truthful account of the life of Jesus; thus, he established the time of the birth of Jesus by naming the Roman Emperor and the local governor. Most scholars place the date between 6 and 4 BC based on Luke’s statements.

God used a Roman decree to have Joseph and Mary leave Nazareth at this crucial time. They had to go to Bethlehem to register for taxation. It was necessary for the place of birth to be Bethlehem in order to fulfill the prophesy of Micah 5:2. God was orchestrating events from heaven so that the ancient prophecies would be accurately fulfilled in every detail. Here were two: he would be in the line of David, and he would be born in Bethlehem.

Bethlehem was crowded so there was no room for this family in the inn. This passage gives no information about the place of this birth. Perhaps the reference to the manger or feed-trough has contributed to the idea that they were in a stable. According to tradition they were in a cave near the inn.

The circumstances were important because the shepherds were told that the Christ or Messiah would be wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Although God had communicated to both Mary and Joseph some details in Messianic terms, the assurance that Jesus was the Messiah is given to the shepherds. They were plainly told by the angel sent from God that, “a Savior had been born... he is Christ the Lord.” Christ is the Greek for the Hebrew word Messiah. There’s no misunderstanding about this announcement. The Messiah had been born in Bethlehem.