Birth of Jesus
Joseph and Mary traveled, walking and riding a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Mary gave birth to Jesus in either a cave or a stable.
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1. “Augustus Caesar was ruling, but God was in charge, for He used Caesar’s edict to move Mary and Joseph eighty miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem to fulfill His Word. Rome took a census every fourteen years…each Jewish male had to return to the city of his fathers to record his name, occupation, property, and family.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 175)
“God had promised that the Savior would be human, not an angel (Genesis 3:15; Hebrews 2:16), and a Jew, not a Gentile (Genesis 12:1-3: Numbers 24:17). He would be from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10), and the family of David (2 Samuel 7:1-17), born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) in Bethlehem, the city of David (Micah 5:2).” (Wiersbe, 175)
2. “Notice Luke’s historical reference that this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 252)
3. All citizens are going to his own city.
Joseph and Mary
4-5. “Both Joseph and Mary were descendants of David and therefore went to their tribal home in Judea to be registered. This was a difficult trek of more that seventy miles through mountainous terrain—a particularly grueling journey for Mary, on the verge of delivery. (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1277)
6. “Many scholars believe that our Lord was born in a cave where animals were sheltered and not in a wooden shed such as you see in modern scenes.” (Wiersbe, 176)
7. “Dr. Luke gets right down to the little human details in this passage. He is saying that Mary put swaddling clothes on this little child—baby clothes and diapers on the Son of God! How perfectly human He was—God manifest in the flesh.” (McGee, 252)
8. “Bethlehem was near Jerusalem, and many of the sheep used in the temple sacrifices came from there.” (MacArthur, 1277)
9. “The first announcement of the Messiah’s birth was given by an angel to some anonymous shepherds…By visiting the shepherds, the angel revealed the grace of God toward mankind.” (Wiersbe, 176)
“Shepherds were really outcasts in Israel. Their work not only made them ceremonially unclean, but it kept them away from the temple for weeks at a time so that they could not be made clean.” (Wiersbe, 176)
“God does not call the rich and mighty; He calls the poor and the lowly (Luke 1:51-53; 1 Corinthians 1:26-29). (Wiersbe, 176)
The glory of the Lord “is the manifestation of God’s presence among his people. Compare Exodus 16:7,10; 24:17; 40:34; Psalm 63:2)” (Stein, H. Robert, The New American Commentary Volume 24, Luke. [Broadman Press, 1996], 108)
“God selected hardworking men to be the first witnesses that His Son had come into the world.” (Wiersbe, 176)
10. “First, one angel appeared (Gabriel?) and gave the glad announcement, and that a chorus of angels joined him and gave an anthem of praise.” (Wiersbe, 176)
“‘Fear not!’ is one of the key themes of the Christmas story (Luke 1:13, 30, 74; and see Matthew 1:20).” (Wiersbe, 176)
“We see here Luke’s emphasis on a worldwide gospel; the good news is for everybody, not just the Jews.” (Wiersbe, 176)
11. Good News. “Gospel elicits joy, not fear. Joy is the inward feeling of happiness and contentment that bursts forth in rejoicing and praise. Joy comes not just to lowly shepherds or isolated parents far from home. Joy comes to all people. In the most unlikely place amid the most unlikely spectators, God brushed aside the world’s fears and provided the world reason for joy (cf. Isa. 9:3).” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
“Joy centers not in something you earn or possess. Joy comes from God’s gift, a tiny baby in a feed trough. But what a baby! Born in David’s town, the child clasps heaven’s greatest titles in his small fist.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
“Savior, God’s title (1:47), becomes the baby’s (cf. 1:69). He will follow in the biblical tradition of deliverers (Judg. 3:9,15; Neh. 9:27; Isa. 19:20; cf. Acts 5:31; 13:23). A troubled, powerless people will find a hero able to overcome the enemy.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
Jesus Christ “The Hebrew Jeshua means ‘The Lord is Salvation.’ Christos (Gr.) means ‘anointed one’ and is the exact equivalent of the Hebrew word for ‘Messiah’ (Daniel 9:25).” (MacArthur, 1119) [This is from MacArthur on Matthew 1:1]
Lord. “The Greek word can mean ‘master’—but it is also the world used to translate the covenant name of God. Here (and in most of its NT occurrences), it is used in the latter sense, as a title of deity.” (MacArthur 1278)
12. “Again Dr. Luke is emphasizing His humanity. He came into this world as a human being. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” (McGee, 253)
13. “The angels praised God at creation (Job 38:7), and now they praised Him at the beginning of the new creation. The whole purpose of the plan of salvation is ‘glory to God’ (see Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14.” (Wiersbe, 177)
“That lowly manger was a Holy of Holies because Jesus was there!” (Wiersbe, 178)
14. “Our Authorized Version give the wrong impression here. The angels did not say, ‘on earth peace, good will toward men.’ What they actually said was ‘peace to men of good will,’ or peace among men with whom He is pleased.’” (McGee, 253)
15-16. “The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem. There they found Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. They were probably the first to visit the Babe since Matthew tells us that the wise men did not arrive, until much later. In fact, when the wise men finally found the Lord Jesus, He was living in a house and probably many months had elapsed.” (McGee, 253)
“They worshipped Him and marveled at God’s grace and goodness and the miracle He had wrought for them.” (Wiersbe, 177)
17. “Seeing the baby Jesus was not enough for the shepherds. They had to share the story. Everyone they met heard from them about angelic visits, angelic songs of praise, and a trip to a manger to find the baby of God’s glory. Most important, they shared what had been told them about this child.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
18. “‘Amazed’ is a favorite term of Luke and is found thirteen times in Luke and five times in Acts, whereas it is found only four times in Mark and seven times in Matthew.” (Stein, 110)
19. “The mother responded differently. She had incubated amazement for nine months. Now she incubated experiences in her mind, experiences that gradually became treasured memories, each showing something new and different about her son, each confirming Gabriel’s promise of greatness for this Son of David and Son of the Most High. Surely nothing was impossible with God (1:30-37).” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
20. “After finding the Baby, they reported the good news to others, ‘glorifying and praising God.’” (Wiersbe, 177)
“Then they humbly returned to their duties, new men going back to the same old job.” (Wiersbe, 177)
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Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
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New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Stein, H. Robert, The New American Commentary Volume 24, Luke. Broadman Press, 1996
Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. [B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004