The Light of the World
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 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. 27 And he came in 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.
28 He took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30for my eyes have seen your salvation
31that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 43 And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.
46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.”
49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?”
50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Let's examine using December 25th date as the Birthday of Jesus the Christ of God.
The shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:7-8).
The Stables of Bethlehem are not large and would be 2/3rd's earth. Cut into the hillsides. This makes them chilly and prone to carry illnesses for staying indoors for any length of time. They are not large and some would have large flocks. A stable is used for extreme conditions. Mary was in the stable - the flocks were abiding in the field.
Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census (Luke 2:1-4). Such censuses were taken whenever Caesar Augustus wanted : in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition. Pontius Pilate was known to kill Jews during Holy Days. This is a measure of control in a world apt to become surly to the Roman Government. Romans wanted obedience.
Elizabeth (John’s mother) was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Jesus was announced to be conceived. (Luke 1:24-36) Approximately the time of year - Jesus was born regarding when John was born. John’s father, Zacharias, was a priest serving in the Jerusalem temple during the course of Abijah (Luke 1:5). Historical calculations indicate this course of service corresponded to June 13-19 in that year ( The Companion Bible , 1974, Appendix 179, p. 200).
And yet, we don't know John was conceived immediately. We can put 5 months of Elizabeth remaining at home discretely, somewhere in the vicinity when Mary visits. We can definitely place the visit of Gabriel within 6 moths of John's father and to Mary. Conception is not a guaranteed Biblical immediate. The Frst Chapter of Luke says "in those days" Mary was pregnant and so was Elizabeth. We could see Elizabeth at week 39 and Mary at week 1.
At the time of Temple service Zacharias learned he and Elizabeth, would have a child (Luke 1:8-13). After he completed his service and traveled home, Elizabeth conceived at some time. (Luke 1:23-24). Assuming John’s conception took place near the end of June, adding nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for John’s birth. If March is the time Mary conceived, Jesus could be December.
When Jesus existed before Abraham, He was saying His Birth was during Genesis 1. "Let there be Light."
Scientists discovered this year, when people report seeing fireworks and later know they conceived, this is the zinc in creating life. Zinc lights up. Let there be the Light of mankind - Jesus. God spoke the Word and there was Light and life.
When we celebrate Christmas, December 25th, let's cast all things under the feet of Jesus, saying God is God. Celebrating December 25th as Jesus the Christ of God, well, God probably intended us to have this day for Jesus.
Baby John in utero discovered! Jesus is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. God gives us a Spirit of Power and Love. Delight yourself in the Lord.
This unborn baby John found, he sought the Lord, and was answered. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to God Almighty!
Behold, Our help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
Father God, our Abba, our Jesus, our Holy Spirit, we lift to You in Joy our loved ones, cares and concerns and know You answer all prayers. From work, friends, communities, jobs, needs, health, opportunities, joy to sorrow. High concerns of Godly matters and all the way to the cares of the people for the Nation - continuing to the world wide prayer communion believing in Jesus the Lord.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. We will reap with shouts of joy!
Glory to God in the Highest. The Good News is Great Joy for all of mankind. Amen the Vast Love of God who is Love. Jesus the Lord. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves! †