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A Child Is Born

Christmas is a season of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. While the actual time of Jesus’ birth may have corresponded to the biblical Feast of Tabernacles, many Christians celebrate this event on December 25th. 


Centuries before the birth of Jesus, the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet Isaiah, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace” (Isa. 9:6–7a). And again, Isaiah prophesied, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). Matthew’s gospel quotes this prophecy about Jesus’ birth and translates the word Immanuel as meaning “God with us.”


The conception and birth of Jesus was with great promise and celebration. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Mary, he told her she was greatly favored by God and that she would conceive and bear a Child by the Holy Spirit. “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” (Luke 1:32). Even while Jesus was in the womb of Mary, when she visited her relative, Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s baby leaped in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit “and she cried out with a loud voice and said, ‘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?’” (Luke 1:42–43).


At the time of Jesus’ birth to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem, an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before a group of shepherds, “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’” (Luke 2:10–14).


Think of the great eternal significance placed on the birth of this Child. Yet, when He was born, it was in very humble circumstances. His first bed was a manger [a feeding trough for animals].


Shortly after Jesus’ birth, Mary and Joseph presented the Child to the Lord at the Temple in Jerusalem. During His presentation, a man named Simeon came to the Temple filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke these words about the infant Jesus. “For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, and the glory of Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:30–32).


This is an amazing story! It is amazing that the Heavenly Father, the God of all creation, entrusted the birth, care, nurture, upbringing, and instruction of this Child to humble parents. They were humble in means and devout in their faith. The precious gift of their firstborn Child became a responsibility they willingly accepted as faithful stewards—stewards of a Child who had a tremendous destiny—a Child whom they would love and faithfully raise in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

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