7 Amazing Facts About The Birth Of Jesus
Here are seven amazing facts about the birth of Jesu Christ that are found in the Bible.
Where is the Innkeeper?
I looked in the Bible for the innkeeper in the story of a very pregnant Mary and Joseph but couldn’t find it in the Bible. The fact that about every Christmas play I have ever seen has an innkeeper but there’s not one in the account of Jesus’ birth which sort of mystifies me. Where did that come from? Where did this originate? I’m not saying there wasn’t an innkeeper in the experience of Joseph and Mary but we can’t dogmatically say that there was. That is sheer speculation and that’s not solid ground upon which to build an account of a biblical story.
Singing Angels at Jesus’ Birth?
Nearly every Christmas card with a nativity scene in it has an angel present and watching over Joseph, Mary, and Jesus but it’s not found in Scripture. The same belief that angels were singing at the time of Jesus’ birth is not found in the Bible; it only says that “a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:13-14). They were “saying” not singing. That’s altogether a different Greek word.
The Kings of the East?
The Bible never says that there were three kings or wise men (Magi) that visited Jesus. They did bring three gifts to Jesus and these were all fitting for the King; gold which was a gift to be given that was worthy of a king; there was frankincense which may have represented prayers being offered up to God; and there myrrh which would be used at Jesus’ death for His burial. I doubt very much if there were only three kings on three camels. There may have been a dozen or more kings or Magi but there would have certainly been support staff and armed guards as they had likely been traveling for over half a year or more.
No visit in the Manger
I discovered that Jesus was not a babe lying in a manger when the Magi or wise men (three kings) visited Jesus and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When they did arrive, it was well after the birth of Jesus after Jesus had already been presented in the temple (Luke 2:22-39) so when the wise men (Magi) “went into the house (not a manger) they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh” (Matt 2:11). The word used for child come from the Greek word “paidion” which means “young child, a little boy,” or “a little girl” which is different from the Greek word used for infant. The Magi came “after Jesus was born in Bethlehem” (Matt 2:1) but not right at His birth.
An Un-Stable Account?
There is no record in the Bible that Jesus was born in a stable or a cave but we do know that there were animals present, therefore we can presume that Jesus was born in a place that housed animals or were animals were kept. Was it outside? Was it in a barn or stable? The Bible never tells us. The only clue we have to where Jesus was born was that He was born in a feeding trough (a manger) and animals were present. I suppose my conclusion is this; if God had thought it was important enough for us to know, He would’ve included it in Scripture. I think God wanted the focus to be on Christ and not the place.
Jesus’ parents, Joseph and Mary had no say in what to call the baby. Maybe they had some other name picked out. Not likely though since Joseph found Mary to be with child even before they were married so deciding on a name was probably the farthest thing from their minds. Instead, Joseph wanted to secretly divorce Mary to shield her from public shame and scandal but an angel told Joseph that Mary “will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). Joseph was not the real father but the Spirit of God was, even so God had predetermined the name Jesus which means “savior” because “he will save his people from their sins.”
A Winter Birthday?
It seems unlikely that Jesus was born on December 25th. Part of the reason is that there would have been shepherds still abiding in the fields at the winter solstice when the fields would’ve been dormant. The sheep would’ve had little to eat in the middle of winter and the angels wouldn’t have found the shepherds in the fields but in their homes at night because that’s where they would’ve been during this time of year. Instead, an angel of the Lord found the “shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8) which is part of the reason that many good Bible scholars conclude that Jesus must have been born in the fall, possibly near or even during the Feast of Tabernacles. My late mother’s birthday is not known. She thinks it was in February but her birth certificate was lost when she was a child. She just picked a day to celebrate it and that’s when we, her children, observed it. It didn’t matter if we had the right day or not; the person was celebrated and not the date. The same thing could apply to Christmas. We celebrate the coming birth of the Savior of the world; we don’t celebrate a date on the calendar.
When it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter if we don’t fully understand every detail in the account of Jesus’ death. What does matter is if you have a relationship with Him or not. Jesus said “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matt 12:30), there is no 3rd option. You must repent and believe in Christ or you will die in your sins by your refusal to repent and trust in the Savior.