For reasons unknown to us, Jesus’ exact birth date isn’t recorded. December 25th was a date chosen much later. We are told which tiny town he was born in – Bethlehem (1) – and the equally insignificant town of Nazareth (2) that He later grew up in.
We don’t know many other facts about Jesus, such as His height or weight, but we know He was born into a Jewish family. What did He do between ages 12 to 30? Was carpentry His sole occupation in those years, or did he travel the world to get some OE?
Some other things we are told about Jesus may seem obscure – such as the birthday presents (gold, frankincense and myrrh) He was given by some camel-riding Eastern astrologers who called in to see Him and His parents while He was still an infant. (3) Jesus’ birthplace certainly wouldn’t have had a postal address. No matter. The gift-bearers said a star had led the way. (4) Huh?
We’re told the extremely sad tale of angry King Herod’s vengeance taken out on little children, after the camel-riders didn’t return via the palace as he’d asked them to. (5)
We’re told about angelic visitations. Elizabeth and Mary were each told by angels about the birth of their sons (John the Baptist and Jesus, respectively). (6,7) The most awesome account of angels was that seen by a little group of shepherds watching over their flock of sheep one evening.8 After an angel announced the birth of a very special child, a magnificent choir of ecstatic angels joined him in praising God.(9)
Why the odd mixture of being born in an animal shelter, while also being given extremely valuable gifts by rich camel-riders?
There are a lot of mysteries about Jesus.
Matthew often showed how Jesus had fulfilled some prophecy from way back in time, and these are even more mysterious. They are like coded clues to a puzzle.
The Jewish people knew to expect a very special savior but didn’t know when he was coming. (10)
The gospel writers – and God Himself- wanted everyone to know that Jesus was that man.
Bible references for the numbers:
1 Luke 2:4-7
2 Matthew 2:23
3. Matthew 2:9-12
4. Matthew 2:2,9
5. Matthew 2:16-18
6 Luke 1:11-13
7 Luke 1: 26-33
8. Luke 2:8-12
9. Luke 2: 13,14
10. Matthew 2:6