In the Gospel according to Luke, we learn that the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to the town of Nazareth in Galilee. Gabriel went to Mary, a virgin woman who of course had never had been with a man. At this time, Mary was already promised in marriage to Joseph of the family of David. Gabriel told her, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. So the angel told her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!" (Luke 1:28-33).
Now it is easy to understand that this news would come as a shock to Joseph. What would be his thoughts and feelings about this news concerning his fiancé? Joseph, who was a righteous man, sought to handle this discreetly not wanting to expose Mary to public disgrace. Thus, Joseph had in mind to divorce Mary quietly. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20-21). This all took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet Isaiah, "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" —meaning "God is with us" (Isaiah 7:14). Once Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home to be his wife. However, Joseph had no union with Mary until she gave birth to a son who they gave the name Jesus.
In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census be taken of the entire Roman world. Therefore, everyone went to his own town to register. Thus, Joseph travelled from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem the town of David in Judea as he belonged to the house and line of David (as foretold by the prophets). Hence, Joseph and Mary (who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child) went to Bethlehem to register as decreed by Caesar. While they were there, it was time for the baby to be born. Therefore, Mary gave birth to her firstborn child, a son. She wrapped the child in cloths and placed him in a manger, as there was no room for them in the inn.
There were shepherds living out in the fields keeping watch over their flocks that night nearby where Joseph and Mary were staying. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and the shepherds were terrified. "But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord! And this will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!" When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the Baby, who was lying in the manger. After they had seen the Child, they spread the message they had received about Him. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, which was just as the angel had told them" (Luke 2:10-20).
The spirit of this world, Satan, and his many followers quickly went to work on those who would be threatened by the newborn child causing them to seek to kill him. Therefore, God sent a messenger to warn them. "An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up!" he said. "Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him." So he got up, took the Child and His mother by night, and withdrew to Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, "Out of Egypt I called My Son." When Herod saw that he had been outwitted by the Magi (he had plotted to have the Magi let him know where the child was), he was filled with rage. Sending orders, he put to death all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, according to the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was spoken through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing consolation, because they are no more" (Matthew 2:13-18).
After Herod's death, an angel of the Lord once again appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up!" he said. "Take the Child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those seeking the Child's life are now dead." So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he learned that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene" (Matthew 2:20-23). Therefore, "When Jesus' parents had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him" (Luke 2:39-40).
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Part 7 - The Birth Of Jesus The Christ
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