If we are not careful, the incredible story of Christ’s birth can become a bit “cloudy” in our minds. We have heard it repeated so many times that the details get blurred and the wonder of the amazing story can be lost.
So, I thought I might write this week’s article as a “Christmas Quiz” of sorts. Maybe dealing with some of the amazing facts surrounding His birth will help us all refocus our attention on that holy night. Get your bibles out….Here are questions. Answers to follow.
- Which gospels record the story of His birth?
- How many wise men were there? What is the significance of their gifts?
- How did these men from the east know about the star and the prophesied birth of the child?
- Speaking of prophecy, how many years before His birth did Isaiah and others prophesied about Him being born of a virgin, that John would be His fore-runner, that He would be heir to the throne of David and born in Bethlehem?
- Were those ordinary shepherds tending ordinary sheep out in the field?
- Did the wisemen arrive at the stable or cave where Jesus was born?
- How active was the angel Gabriel in the Christmas story?
- What was the baby Jesus wrapped in at His birth? Why is that significant?
- Why was there no room for Mary and Joseph in any Bethlehem inns?
- On what day was the baby Jesus circumcised and why is that important?
- Check out Matt. 1 and Luke 2.
- We don’t know. The long travel distance would likely have required a large, well-supplied caravan and just three guys standing in front of Herod would not have frightened him. There were three gifts (Matt. 2:11) signifying royalty and dealing with death.
- Daniel came to be the chief of the magi (Chaldeans, diviners, magicians in Babylon). In captivity, he likely had OT scrolls with him. Perhaps he shared the prophecies with these learned men and that information was passed down through the generations.
- Some 360 OT prophecies pinpoint the birth and life of Christ. These prophecies began as early as 1889 years before His birth.
- No, they were specially trained shepherds who were tasked with the job of raising perfect lambs that would be sacrificed as burnt and peace offerings in the temple. They were born to die. Their location (Migdal Eder) was mentioned in Micah 4:8 and discussed in Jewish oral tradition (Mishnah) and by historians.
- The wisemen arrived later when the baby was a young child (Greek word “child” means toddler, not baby) and Joseph and Mary now lived in a house (Matt. 2:11).
- Gabriel let Zechariah know that he and Elizabeth would have a child that would be the fore runner for the Messiah- John the Baptist (Luke 1:11); he announced Jesus’ birth to Mary (Luke1:26); and told Joseph to continue with his marriage to Mary (Mat. 1:20), warned him to flee to Egypt (Matt. 2:13) and ultimately to go live in Nazareth (Matt. 3:19).
- He was wrapped in swaddling clothes (grave clothes) . These cloths were used by shepherds to protect the perfect lambs from scrapes and scratches and ordinary homes kept them as burial garments for bodies that were not embalmed. Jesus was born to die (I Tim. 1:15).
- Others were in town for the census. And Mary was ready to give birth. During birth, she would have become ceremonially unclean (Lev. 15) and cause the house to be unclean as well. Likely no one would have wanted her to stay with them.
- He was circumcised on the 8th day (Luke 2:21, Lev. 12:3). On that day, a boy’s body has a very high amount of vitamin K coursing through the veins to assist in blood clotting.
This is an amazing story!