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Sheperd and flock outside Bethlehem  

The Christmas Story, as told by the Scriptures

by Lockmann.org
commentary by
Dwight Leslie

  Photo of Bethlehem
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Photo of the Dead Sea at sunrise  
With all the commercialization of Christmas, I thought you might like the story straight from the Bible (I've only added a few comments, usually in italics).  As always, it is prudent to pray and ask God for revelation and understanding of His Holy Word.
The Bible Christmas Story (New American Standard) according to Scripture.
The time around the birth of Jesus and His early years.

As told in the New Testament book of Matthew 1.18:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
This is as prophesied in Isaiah 7.14 - Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (God with us).
Photo of Nazareth from hill top  
Continuing, Mathew 1.19 - And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away (or, to divorce her) secretly.
(Because adultery brought a sentence of death, as it was as shown in the book of John 8.3,4,5 - And the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the midst, they said to Him (Jesus), - Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say? )
Continuing, Mathew 1.20 + But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, - Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived (Literally, begotten) in her is of the Holy Spirit. (v21) And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.
(The Apostle Paul explains in Romans 5.19 (that) For as through the one man 's disobedience (Adam) the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One (Jesus) the many will be made righteous.).
Photo of Jordan River  
Continuing, Mathew 1.22 - Now all this took place (has taken place) that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, (v23) - 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.
(v24) - And Joseph arose from His sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as wife, (v25) and kept her a virgin (Literally, was not knowing her) until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
 
Mathew 2.1 + Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold magi (Pronounce may-ji, a caste of wise men specializing in astrology, medicine and natural science.) from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
(His birth in Bethlehem was prophesied in Old Testament scripture Micah 5.2 - - But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. )
Continuing, Mathew 2.2 + - 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. (v3) And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. (v4) And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. (v5) And they said to him, - In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet, (v6) AND YOU, BETHLEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER, WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.
The Bible Christmas Story   Continued
     
Also, later the Apostle John wrote in his New Testament book, John 7.42 - - Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was? 
 
Continuing, Mathew 2.7 - Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared. (v8) And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, - Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him. (v9) And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. (v10) And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. (v11) And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. (v12) And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.
  Flight into Egypt
 
Mathew 2.13 + Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared (appears) to Joseph in a dream, saying, - Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him. (v14) And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt; (v15) and was there until the death of Herod, that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, - OUT OF EGYPT DID I CALL MY SON. (cf. Hosea 11.1)
 
Herod kills the children
 
Continuing Mathew 2.16 + Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the magi. (v17) Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, (v18) - A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE.
 
     
Jesus returns to Nazareth

Continuing Mathew 2.19 + But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared (appears) in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, (v20) - Arise and take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child 's life are dead. (v21) And he arose and took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. (v22) But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he departed for the regions of Galilee, (v23) and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, - He shall be called a Nazarene.
 
Mathew then jumps in time to the Ministry of John the Baptist who baptizes Jesus, and continues with his book. In the gospel of Luke, Luke starts with the birth of John the baptizer (who Jesus said was the greatest Prophet of all the Old Testament men.) The Christmas story is then told in Luke 's gospel in the following scriptures.
  Gabriel Announces Christ's Birth
 
Luke 1.26 + Now in the sixth month (of Elizabeth 's pregnancy with John the Baptist) the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called Nazareth, (v27) to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin 's name was Mary. (v28) And coming in, he said to her, - Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.   (Later messages add: you are blessed among women) (v29) But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. (v30) And the angel said to her, - Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God, (v31) and behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. (v32) He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most high; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; (v33) and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.
     
Mary Miraculously Conceives
 
Continuing, Luke 1.34+ And Mary said to the angel, - How can this be, since I am a virgin?  (know no man) (v35) And the angel answered and said to her, - The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God. (v36) 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. (v37) For nothing (or, not any word) will be impossible with God. (v38) And Mary said, - Behold, the bond-slave (I.e., female slave) of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.
 
After Mary 's visit to Elizabeth, Elizabeth 's giving birth to John, and Zacharias 's prophesy of John 's ministry (verses 39 - 80), Luke continues with the Christ's birth.
  Luke 2.1 + Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth (I.e., the Roman empire) (v2) This was the first census taken while Quirinius (Greek, Kyrenios) was governor of Syria. (v3) And all were proceeding to register for the census, everyone to his own city. (4) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, (v5) in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. (v6) And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. (v7) And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger (feeding trough), because there was no room for them in the inn.
     
The Angels Announce Jesus to the Shepherds
 
Continuing, Luke 2.8+ And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. (v9) And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. (v10) And the angel said to them, - Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people: (v11) for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, (v12) And this will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.  (v13) And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying (v14) - Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.
 
The Shepherds Visit Jesus
 
Continuing, Luke 2.15+ And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to  one another, - Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us. (v16) And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. (v17) And when they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. (v18) And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. (v19) But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. (v20) And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
  Christ is Circumcised
 
Continuing, Luke 2.21+ And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (v22) And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (v23) (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, - EVERY FIRST-BORN MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD ), (v24) and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, - A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES, OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS.
 
Simeon 's Prophesy
 
Continuing, Luke 2.25+ And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. (v26) 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. (v27) And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law (to do for Him according to),  (28) then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, (v29) - Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bondservant depart in peace, according to Thy word; (v30) for my eyes have seen Thy salvation, (v31) which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, (v32) A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, and the glory of Thy people Israel. (v33) And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. (v34) And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, - Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed - (v35) and a sword will pierce even your own soul - to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.
     
Anna 's Testimony
 
Continuing, Luke 2.36+ And there was a prophetess, Anna (or Hanna) the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years (or days), having lived with a husband seven years after her marriage (or virginity), (v37) and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. And she never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. (v38) And at that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
 
Jesus Returns to Nazareth
 
Continuing, Luke 2.39+ And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth. (v40) And the Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
  The Gospel of John talks about the Deity of Christ, His Preincarnate Work, and His Incarnation
 
John 1.1 + In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God. (v2) He was in the beginning with God. (v3) All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. (v4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (v5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (or, overpower) it.
 
John 1.12+ But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (v13) who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (v14) And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (v15) John (the Baptist) bore witness of Him, and cried out saying, - This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.   (v16) For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. (v17) For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
     
Why is Jesus birth and life important?
 
John 3.16 + For God so loved the world, that he gave his only (or unique, only one of a kind) begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (v17) For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.
 
John 6.38+ For I (Jesus) have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (v39) And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. (v40) For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.
 
Why did Jesus come as a man?
 
Hebrews 2.14+ Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; (v15) and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. (v16) For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. (v17) Therefore, he had to be made like his brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things
  pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (v18) For since he Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. (3v1) Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. (v2) He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house.

John 10.10+ The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I (Jesus) came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.
 
Jesus was sent as God speaking to us; He was God 's exact representation of His nature.
 
Hebrews 1.1+ God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, (v2) in these last days (or, at the end of these days) has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world (or, ages). (v3) And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When he had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of high; &
 
AMEN
     
PS - If you have been seeking meaning and purpose to human life, we find it in a relationship with God. Jesus made access to the Heavenly Father by his payment of sin by His death on the cross. He wants us to have life, and that more abundantly; He does set before us life and death, and then gives us the answer &chose Life.
 
If you have never chosen life through Christ, you can do so now. With this simple heartfelt prayer by faith, say, - God in heaven, I belief that Jesus was Your Son sent to us, and I thank You for Him. I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior and turn from my sins. Please lead and guide me, so that I can do what's right.
 
If you used to know Him, but have slipped away, He is always faithful & just and never leaves you nor forsakes you. If you take a step toward Him, He takes a step towards you. With a sincere heart, pray this: - Father God, in Jesus' Name, please forgive me, I want to serve you anew. Please lead and guide me, so that I can do what's right.
 

 

When you are still hungry for more of God, and you have been reading the Bible, the written word of God, and you have been speaking and listening, praising and thanking God daily (prayer), and you have found a place to fellowship (a good church), you may be ready for close encounters of the God kind, the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. Call me on this one!
 
 
 


 
Italics added by DL for clarity, or in the scriptures, by the translators when a word is implied, but not included, for clarity. Words in red are words spoken by Jesus. - Scripture quotations taken from the NASB."
From: www.lockman.org