Birth of the Messiah
1. The announcement from the angel Gabriel (meaning Warrior of God) about the birth of Messiah. Luke 1:26-35 (Gabriel carried only three messages. Daniel received a visit from Gabriel (Daniel 8:16 and 9:21) in response to Daniels prayers for his people. Gabriel announces the birth of Messiah and also the birth of John the Baptist.
The Magnificat, song by Mary (Miriam) Luke 1:46-55 in faith & obedience. Luke 1: 46-55 (Below is an excerpt verses 46-49)
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
(Marys trip, while betrothed and unaccompanied, was not usually done by women. This trip may have been part of what troubled Joseph later when he discovered that Mary was pregnant during their betrothal period.
2. Gabriels announcement to Zechariah. The Levitical priests were divided into 24 families or courses. At this time there were a total of 20,000 priests (more properly called Kohanes since the word priest had a pagan connotation to it.) Zechariah, a faithful Levitical priest was chosen by lot to go into the Holy Place and make an offering of incense. The Jewish tradition held that the right side of the altar was reserved for God while the left side was reserved for the angel, Gabriel (known to them by the prophecies of Daniel.) Therefore when Gabriel appeared to Zechariah from the right side of the golden altar, Zechariah was afraid since no man could see God and live. That fear was quickly dispelled by Gabriel.
13 But the angel said to him, "Do
not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you
a son, and you shall call his name John.
14 "And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mothers womb.
16 "And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
17 "He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."
19 And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.
20 "But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time."
3. The Shepherds in the field. The
angels bringing the news of the birth of Messiah and the song "Gloria in Excelsis
Deo". To the shepherds was given news of the birth of Messiah. - and believed.
Pharisees & Scribes did not testify, did not believe nor did they rejoice. Luke
2:8-15 "Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
"And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."
4. The Wise Men (Gentile testimony) Matt 2:4-5 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel." Micah 5:2
These Magi were priests and probably sages who were involved in astrology. They saw a sign in the heavens, a star and began following the star from the East to the West (To them it was not an Eastern Star) two years after the initial sightings. We believe these Magi came from Persia or Babylon and acted in faith upon the prophecy of Balaam given in
Num 24:17 A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. NIV
We are not told how many magi came to Israel, however, since these were men of power and authority, it is not difficult to believe that their entourage included over 60 camels. Three men quietly entering Jerusalem would not have really been noticed. However these Magi had no problem getting an immediate audience with Herod. When they inquired about the location of the newly born King, they were told that it would be Bethlehem.
Matt 2:11 And coming into the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother. And they fell down and worshiped Him. And opening their treasures, they presented gifts to Him, gold (divinity) and frankincense (royalty) and myrrh (for burial).
Matt 2:16-18 "Then Herod, when he saw that he was
deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all
the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and
under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was
fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
"A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more."
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah, the prophet, saying,
Jeremiah 31:15 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. The Slaughter of the Innocents
5. Simeon (Song of Testimony once he had seen the Messiah). Luke 2: 25-35
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. And this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him.
And it happened to him, being instructed by the Holy Spirit, he was not to see death before he would see the Messiah of the Lord.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And as the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do according to the custom of the law concerning Him,
even he received Him in his arms and blessed God, and said,
Lord, now You will let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word.
which You have prepared before the face of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of Your people Israel.
And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken by him.
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, Behold, this One is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against
(yea, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also), so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
6. Anna (Luke 2:36-38) And there was a prophetess, Anna, the
daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in many days, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity.
And she was a widow of eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, serving God with fastings and prayers night and day. (She was probably fourteen when she married Anna was at least 105 years of age)
And she coming in at that instant gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all those in Jerusalem eagerly expecting redemption.
When Herod issued the edict to slay every male child two years and younger in Bethlehem and the area surrounding it, an angel warned Joseph to flee to Egypt.
Matt 2:13 "Now when they had departed, behold, an
angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child
and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek
the young Child to destroy Him."
There they stayed until the death of Herod. When it was safe, they left Egypt and returned to Nazareth fulfilling another prophecy:
Matt 2:15 "and was there until the death of Herod,
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,
"Out of Egypt I called My Son."
Hosea 11:1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son."
Josephs first inclination was probably to return to Bethlehem where the family lived for two years before Egypt. However, when Joseph learned that Archelaus, Herods son, had assumed the throne, Joseph returned to Nazareth. Matthew identifies this with prophecy also:
"But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning
over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God
in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."
"There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of
Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
" The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD."
This prophecy is not easily seen in Isaiah until you look at the word Branch (Hebrew: OT:5342
netser (nay'-tser); from OT:5341 in the sense of greenness as a striking color; a shoot; figuratively, a descendant:
hat it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene, [Nazooraios (NT:3480)] - better, perhaps, 'Nazarene.' The best explanation of the origin of this name appears to be that which traces it to the word [neetser (OT:5342)], in Isa 11:1-the small 'twig,' 'sprout,' or branch which the prophet there says "shall come forth from the stem (or rather 'stump') of Jesse. (from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft). Nazareth could be called the town of branches.
Only in Luke do we have an account of Jesus at the age of 12. Luke 2:40-52 describes the family going annually to the Feast of Passover. On this particular Feast, Jesus would celebrate His Bar Mitzvah. (a Jewish male entering into His 13th year, the age of adult religious duty & responsibility) When the family leaves Jerusalem, males travel together and females travel separately. Both Joseph and Mary assumed Jesus was with the other spouse. When they met three days later they discovered that Jesus was missing.
Jesus was in the Temple with teachers of the Torah & the prophets
In Luke 2:46-47 "Now so it was that after three days
they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them
and asking them questions.
And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers."
It was common for young people to be taught the Torah by their parents and at Synagogue beginning age of five. They could recite chapters of Scripture in their teen years. Jesus, however, is not simply displaying an ability to quote the Word but rather to understand it and to ask questions of these teachers that caused them to marvel.
Question: Did Jesus have to study the Scriptures to learn them or did He know the Word of God as the Son of God?
In His early years Jesus had to study like any of us. Almighty God does not condone laziness and certainly Jesus would not fail to do what He expects us to do.
This observation, however, must be tempered with an understanding of His divine nature.
Later in Jesus ministry He says certain things that appear to be recollections of Israels past. For example John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.
Again in Matthew 23:37-39
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the
prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children
together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
"See! Your house is left to you desolate;
"for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!"
As the Son of God Jesus maintains His omnipotence (stilling the storm with His command Mark 4:39), His omniscience Matthew 11:27, however His omnipresence was frozen in eternity when the Son of God came as a man bounded by time that He, Himself created.
Prophecy of Jesus born of a Virgin
ISA 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
Strong's Number: 05959
Strong's Number: 3933
*In the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) There is never a case where almah means any other reference than to a virgin. Put in context the Prophet Isaiah says to the king that this will be a great sign (a virgin giving birth is a miracle. A young Jewish woman giving birth is commonplace and no sign at all.
In the Septuagint, this word is used as well as in Matt 1:23
AV-virgin 14; 14
1) a virgin
1a) a marriageable maiden
1b) a woman who has never had sexual intercourse with a man
1c) one's marriageable daughter
TWOT stands for Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
TDNT stands for Theological Dictionary of the New Testament