Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Investigating Jesus - Part 5
The writer of the Gospel of Luke, tells us this about the birth of Jesus Christ
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 their 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 guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. (Luke 2:1-8)
That Jesus was a human male is not really disputed. The birth of Jesus is extraordinary at every level. The primary documents about him, found in the Bible, states that he was born of a woman, which tells us that at least in a prenatal state, Jesus was nurtured and formed as any other male baby is.
On the physical level, Jesus was born as any person is, but about his conception, he was conceived like no other person – conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). This was so that Jesus would not be given the sinful nature past that all humans have. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. Other documents, outside of the Bible from that period of time, also attest to Jesus and his existence.
Throughout the Old Testament, there is a witness to the birth of the Messiah, the Saviour. From the time of the first sin done by Adam, through the creation of Israel, the life of the Patriarchs and Kings and the oracles of the Prophets – all looking forward to the Messiah coming. The Covenants that God made with people all looked forward to when this Messiah, this Savour, this King would come and rescue Israel. This King was to be their hope, their Saviour.
Christians believe this Messiah King was Jesus Christ. Jesus’ genealogy takes his physical line back to Abraham via David. Abraham was the father of Israel and David the first King. He grew into maturity as any young Jewish boy did. Anything further than this, we have no historical record, although there are several unverified apocryphal stories circulating.
When Jesus was born, his name imbued the very reason he was born. His conception and birth were extraordinary at every level. So, important is our understanding of the birth of Jesus that no fewer than 4 angels come to give us a full picture of the event. Do you think that his parents, Joseph & Mary, or God, ever gazed upon him, and thought “How misnamed he is?” They did not, because they knew the very purpose for which he was born. The name Jesus means ‘one who saves’, or ‘a rescuer’. The entirety of his birth, life and death were centred on this very role - to save or rescue all those who would follow Him.
More about the events surrounding Jesus' birth next week
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