Monday, December 24, 2012


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, that in 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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