Posts Tagged ‘Angel of the Lord’

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1527022_752435308117893_1977815790_n CHRIST’S BIRTH, AS I UNDERSTAND IT

A virgin named Mary, who was engaged to a man named Joseph, was

pregnant with the Son of God, which was the result of the miraculous
working of the Holy Spirit.  When Joseph, to whom she was engaged, found
out, he, being a just man and not wanting her to be stoned to death for
having committed adultery, was trying to think of how he could quietly
break off their engagement. 

But while he was thinking about it, he fell asleep, and the Angel of the
Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, of the family of
David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife.  The Child she is
carrying is a miracle, conceived of the Holy Spirit.  And she shall
bring forth a Son, and you are to call His name JESUS: for He shall save
His people from their sins.” 

Now all this was done that Isaiah 7:14 might be fulfilled, which was
spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall
be with Child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call
His title, “Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.”  [Note:  Mary’s
pregnancy, like all pregnancies, involved a child, not a fetus, not an
embryo, not even a fertilized egg; she was with Child!]

When Joseph woke up, he did as the Angel of the Lord had told him,
and he married Mary.  And Mary remained a virgin until she gave birth
to her firstborn Son: and Joseph called His name

“JESUS” (Mt. 1:18-25).
And there were, in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.  And suddenly, the Angel of the
Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord surrounded them: and
they were so afraid.  And the Angel said unto them, “Fear not: for,
behold, I bring great news, which shall be a blessing to all people.
Just as the Word of God promised, your Messiah, Christ the Lord, has
been born today in Bethlehem, the City of David.”  

And this is
how you will recognize Him; you will find the Baby wrapped in a
receiving blanket, lying in an animal’s feed trough.  And suddenly,
there was with the Angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God,
and saying, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth, peace and good will
to all men.”  And it came to pass, after the angels were gone, the
shepherds said one to another,
“Let us go and see this thing which has
happened, this thing which the Lord hath made known unto us.”

when they arrived in Bethlehem, they found Mary and Joseph, and
the Baby was lying in an animal’s food trough, just as they had been
told. And when they had seen Him, they told everyone what they had been
told concerning the Child, Israel’s Messiah
(Lk. 2:8-17).

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 Have you ever noticed that most witnessing involves travel?  The Lord told His disciples to go (Mt. 28:19).  If we are to be witnesses for Jesus, we will have our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel (Eph. 6:15)!  And if we are to be His witnesses, we ought to know the truth about our Lord’s miraculous birth. 

Jesus, the Savior, was born in the City of Bethlehem, “a little town” in Judea, to Mary, a virgin (Mt. 1:23; Lk. 1:27), who was from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, approximately seventy miles due North “as the crow flies.”  Joseph, the Lord’s soon-to-be stepfather, had accompanied his espoused wife on the arduous journey which must have taken several days (Lk. 2:4-5).  I am not sure of the route they took, but looking at a map of Israel, it is likely that Joseph and Mary travelled via the Jordon River Valley Road, east of the mountain range which runs the entire length of the country.  They could have travelled west of the range, but that would have taken them through the much-hated Samaria (Mt. 10:5; Lk. 9:52-53; Jn. 4:9).

Near the City of Bethlehem, there were shepherds tending their flocks (Lk. 2:8-20).  On the night He was born, the Angel of the Lord told them of the Savior’s birth, and they left their flocks and travelled to see Him.  The Scriptures say that after they had seen Jesus, they became His witnesses (testified about Him to others), and returning to their flocks, they glorified and praised God (Lk. 2:17, 20)

On the eighth day, Joseph took Jesus and Mary from the place they were staying in Bethlehem, and travelled to the temple in Jerusalem so that He could be circumcised according to Jewish Law (Lev. 12:3).  There, two witnesses saw the fulfillment of prophecies given to them by the Lord:  Simeon and Anna (Lk. 2:25-38).  Following their blessing of Jesus, Joseph took Jesus and Mary to live in Nazareth, their home (Lk. 2:39).

Some time must have passed before the wise men arrived to make their offerings to the King of the Jews, because by the time they arrived, the family was staying in a house in Bethlehem (Mt. 2:2, 11).  It is very likely that these travellers had arrived on the first of one of the Lord’s yearly trips to Jerusalem for the seven day Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread, where His family would have been staying with family or friends (Lk. 2:41).  Based upon the fact that Herod had all the children of Bethlehem killed up to the age of two (Mt. 2:16), and that Jesus was no longer called a “babe” but was now called a “young child,” it is likely that Jesus was about a year old when the wise men arrived with their gifts.  Fearing Herod’s wrath, the wise men return home via a different route than the one they had used to get to Bethlehem (Mt. 2:12).   Although it is not stated, there is little doubt, thatin explaining their long journey, they were witnesses for Jesus. 

Following the Angel of the Lord’s warning and their sojourn in Egypt, most likely financed by the gifts of the wise men, Joseph took his family back to Nazareth (Mt. 2:21-23).  We have no indication that anyone in Egypt had a clue who was living in their country, so, it is doubtful that any of them became His witnesses.  Just as the wise men had done before, Joseph took an alternate route on his return to Nazareth (Mt. 2:22-23).

 Like the wise men, you and I are not witnesses of the Lord’s birth.

        But if we truly believe in Him, our birth will be a witness for the Lord! 


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