What does the Bible say about Jesus’ birth?
Christmas is almost upon us. It is at this time of the year that we honor the incarnation of Christ. The day that Christ, God the Son, the Second person of the Trinity came down to earth to be wrapped in flesh. Whether or not it is the actual date that Christ was born is debatable, and altogether a non-issue. We choose to celebrate on this day, a day set aside to honor our Lord – and that alone is reason to worship Him.
Christian quotes about the birth of Christ
“Jesus took His place in a manger so we might have a home in heaven.” – Greg Laurie
“Infinite, and an infant. Eternal, and yet born of a woman. Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman’s breast. Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms. King of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph. Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter’s despised son.” Charles Spurgeon
“The birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it.” Frederick Buechner
“The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth– the very thing the whole story has been about.” C. S. Lewis
“This is Christmas: Not the presents, not the carols, but the humble heart that receives the wondrous gift of Christ.”
“Loving God, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men.”
“Christmas should be a day when our minds go back to Bethlehem, beyond the noise of our materialistic world, to hear the soft flutter of angels’ wings.” Billy Graham
“God became a real man, had a real birth, and had a real, physical body. This is an essential point of the Christian faith”
Mary and the birth of Jesus
At every angelic visitation in the Bible we see the command “fear not!” or “do not be afraid” because they were fearsome creatures to behold. Mary was no exception. Not only was she fearful of the angels presence, but she was utterly baffled by the initial words that he spoke to her. He then went on to explain that she would miraculously become pregnant, even though she was a virgin, and she would bear the Son of God: the Messiah whom was foretold by the prophets.
Mary believed God is who He said He is. Mary believed that God was faithful. She answered the angel in a way that expressed her faith in God: “Behold the bondslave of the Lord…” She understood that God is completely Sovereign over all of His creation, and that He had a plan for His people. Mary knew that God was safe to trust because He is faithful. So she acted upon her faith and spoke bravely to the angel.
In the very next paragraph of Luke 1, we see that Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. The angel had told her that Elizabeth was six months pregnant – which was miraculous considering her age and the fact that she was barren. As soon as Mary came to her home, Elizabeth’s husband Zacharias met her at the door. Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice and yelled out “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”
Mary replied in song. Her song magnifies Jesus. The song is very similar to Hannah’s prayer for her son in 1 Samuel 2. It is full of quotes from Hebrew scripture and has the parallelism that is commonly seen in Hebrew poetry. Mary’s song shows that her entire being was praising God. Her song reveals that she believed that the baby in her womb was the Messiah whose coming was foretold. Though Mary’s song seemed to express that she expected the Messiah to right the wrongs done to the Jewish people right away, she was praising God for His provision of a Redeemer.
1. Luke 1:26-38 “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
2. Matthew 1:18 “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.”
3. Luke 2:4-5 “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.”
Why was Jesus born?
Because of man’s sin, he is alienated from God. God being perfectly holy and being perfect love cannot endure sin. It is enmity against Him. Since God is the Creator of the Universe, who is an eternal being, a crime against Him warrants a punishment of equal value. Which would be eternal torment in Hell – or the death of an equally holy and eternal person, Christ. So Christ had to be born so that He might endure the cross. His purpose in life was to redeem God’s people.
4. Hebrews 2:9-18 “But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
5. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. Hebrews 8:6 “But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.”
7. Hebrews 2:9-10 “But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.”
8. Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
9. John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Wise Men and Shepherds visit Jesus
Wise Men, who were the Magi from the east, the scholars of Babylon came to worship Jesus. These were some of the most learned men in the world. They had books of Jewish prophecy from the time of the Babylonian captivity. They saw that the Messiah had arrived, and they wanted to worship Him. Shepherds were the first visitors to worship Christ. They were some of the most uneducated men in that culture. Both groups of people were called to come and see the Messiah. Christianity isn’t just a religion for one group of people or for one culture – it is for all of God’s people all over the world.
10. Matthew 2:1-2 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’”
11. Luke 2:8-20 “In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So, they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.”
Old Testament Bible verses that prophesy the birth of Jesus
What books did the Magi have? They had the Jewish Bible, books that make up our Old Testament. They knew the Scriptures that prophesied about Jesus’s birth. Each of these prophesies was fulfilled exactly. God’s infinite knowledge and power is demonstrated in the fulfillment of these prophesies. These prophesies tell us that God the Son would come to earth, to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem and from the line of Abraham. Prophesies also foretold about Herod’s slaughter of the children in his attempt to kill Jesus and that Mary, Joseph and Jesus had to flee to Egypt.
12. Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
13. Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for our of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.”
14. Genesis 22:18 “And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.”
15. Jeremiah 31:15 “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.”
17. Hosea 11:1 “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
18. Numbers 24:17 “I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the heads of Moab’s people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth.”
What is the importance of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ?
Like we just discussed, the virgin birth was a fulfillment of a prophesy. It was a complete miracle. Jesus also has two natures: divine and human. He is both 100% God and 100% man. If He had two biological parents, then His deity would not have any support. Jesus was sinless. A sinless nature only comes directly from God. A sinless nature could not be supported with two biological parents. He had to be perfectly sinless in order to be the complete sacrifice that could take away our sins.
19. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
20. John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
21. Colossians 2:9 “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.”
22. Deuteronomy 17:1 “You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any defect, for that is a detestable thing to the Lord your God.”
23. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
24. 1 Peter 2:22 “Who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.”
25. Luke 1:35 “The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Where was Jesus born according to the Bible?
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, just as the prophesy foretold. In Micah we see something unique: the name Bethlehem Ephrathah. There were two Bethlehems during this time. Bethlehem Ephrathah was in Judah. This was a very tiny town in the province of Judah. The words “from ancient days” is also significant because it is a Hebrew term that is often synonymous with the word “eternal.” So from eternity past, this has been the Ruler over Israel.
26. Micah 5:2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
The significance of Jesus being born in a manger?
Jesus was laid in a manger because there was no room for him in the lodging place. Mary gave birth in a stable, and the King of the Universe laid to rest in a bed of fresh hay. The manger was a sign of witness to the shepherds. John Piper said, “No other king anywhere in the world was lying in a feeding trough. Find Him, and you find the King of Kings.”
27. Luke 2:6-7 “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 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.”
28. Luke 2:12 “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in manger.”
Why do Christians celebrate Christmas?
Christians celebrate Christmas, not because we know for a fact that this is the exact date of His birth, but because we choose to honor Him on this day. We honor the day that God came to earth wrapped in flesh because this was the day that our Redeemer came to pay for our sins. This is the day that God came to rescue us from our punishment. Let’s praise God for sending His son to bear our punishment on our behalf! Merry Christmas!
29. Isaiah 9:6-7 “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
30. Luke 2:10-11 “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”