As the year comes to a close we celebrate Christmas; a festive and joyous occasion. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our lord and savior Jesus Christ, the son of God, who was conceived on Christmas day, December 25 though his birth was not until December 29. We give gifts in remembrance of the ultimate gift that God gave the world; his only son Jesus. He was born to bring good news to man; we are no longer under the law. It is by grace that our sins are forgiven and we are promised eternal life through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Bible is clear that when Mary visited Elizabeth, her cousin, Elizabeth was six months pregnant. Elizabeth and Mary were first cousins, as their mothers were sisters and of the tribe of Levi; Luke 3. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a Levite; the priests of Israel. Jesus was born after the order of Melchizedek; kings. Jesus was born king and priest.
Before Jesus was born, his parents, Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, Galilee. That’s the same as saying his parents lived in Dover, Delaware or Hollis, New York. However, because of a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all men must pay taxes, Joseph had to return to Bethlehem, the city of his people. When they arrived in Bethlehem, there was no room at the "inn". (Matthew 2:11) An inn is not a hotel. The translation of the word inn is Latin for dwelling place. When Joseph and Mary arrived at the home of his relatives, the other family members, were already there. In those days families lived with their animals whose dwelling place would be on the ground floor and the upper rooms is where they lived and slept. Since there was no room at the "inn" Joseph and Mary had to be accommodated on the ground floor of the home of his relatives, surrounded by animals.
When Jesus was born Mary wrapped him in swaddling clothes. This ancient custom was practiced because they believed it would allow the infants limbs to grow in straight. In those days there were no furniture stores, so a feeding trough, or a manger, was converted into a makeshift crib and this is where Mary laid her baby, the “sacrificial lamb”; Immanuel, Jesus, the son of God.
The wise men were in Jerusalem when they spoke with King Herod and asked if he knew where to find the newborn king. They followed the star to Bethlehem which was approximately six miles away or a two hour walk with camels. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the bible says they came to a house where they presented Jesus with their presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh (Isaiah 60:6, Matthew 2:11) and worshiped the new born king. The wise men were the kings of Midian, Ephah and Sheba.
When Jesus was born Angels from God visited Shepherds who were in the hills keeping watch over their flocks. They were told of the birth of the child and a host of angels started praising God singing, Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will to all men.