Guys, my passion for learning the Bible is unending. I’m so dang curious. I thought it would be appropriate to send this in Dec, but I didn’t start writing it till Christmas time. Opps. Anyways, let’s take a quick look at what the gospels say about baby Jesus and how the Old Testament prophecies say about the Messiah’s coming. The story of baby Jesus is only recorded in 2 of the 4 gospels.
Absolutely, understanding the unique characteristics of gospels provides valuable context for studying the Bible. Here's a summary of the distinct features of the two gospels.
Author: Matthew, one of the disciples and a former tax collector.
Emphasis: Matthew, skilled in documentation, focused on recording Jesus' teachings and ministry.
Highlight: Notably includes the genealogy of Jesus, tracing back to King David and Father Abraham. It confirms His royalty and right to assume David’s throne.
Author: Luke, a physician and companion of the Apostle Paul. His gospel is based on Peter’s retelling, which means he was not an apostle.
Emphasis: Written by a well-educated, second-generation Christian, providing a detailed and comprehensive account.
Unique Aspect: Begins with an address to Theophilus. Luke is also credited with the Book of Acts.
So let’s talk about the story of baby Jesus and how two of the books–Matthew and Luke–combine to tell the story. The book of Mark skips the story and starts with John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus in the wilderness. The book of John also does not mention the birth of Jesus but starts with the bold statement of “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This huge line states Jesus was always here in the beginning of time. (I know it's confusing, but I can't cover this in this blog). But John did start his gospel off with; Jesus has always been here since the beginning of time. Even though he was not here in physical form he was here in the way of Spirit.
The Gospel of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus, a testament to its credibility. Without a shadow of doubt, it establishes that Jesus is descended from Father Abraham, the father of Isaac, who in turn fathered Jacob—the patriarch of the 12 tribes of Israel. Among Jacob's offspring, Judah stands out, paving the way for the lineage of King David, and subsequently, Joseph, Jesus' earthly father. Thus, Jesus is often described as the Lion of Judah, representing a powerful and authoritative figure—someone who fearlessly confronts evil and serves as a savior for His people. This title not only underscores Jesus' royal lineage but also signifies His fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and ultimate triumph over death and sin.
Matthew also records the remarkable account of Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph when she became pregnant before their marriage. Although it may raise initial questions, the biblical narrative assures that there was no involvement with another man.
In Luke 1:28-31, an angelic message to Mary reveals the divine favor upon her: "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you! Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus."
This event aligns with the prophecy found in Isaiah 7:14, which anticipates the birth of a son through a virgin: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Notably, "Immanuel" translates to "God with us."
The interconnectedness between the Old Testament and the New Testament, where prophecies from the former find fulfillment in the latter, is a captivating aspect of biblical study. It highlights the breathtaking intricacy of God's design and the seamless flow of His divine story throughout the scriptures.
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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. I love how the angel speaks of Jesus’ lineage of King David and the house of Jacob. Jacob was known as one of the forefathers (Abraham, Isaac & Jacob). The angel is connecting the dots to fulfill the prophecy.
Luke 2: 8-12, “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The narrative progresses with the arrival of the Magi (Three Wise Men) in Bethlehem, responding to a celestial sign. These astronomers, likely from Persia or Babylon, recognize Jesus as the King of Kings and even the King of the gentiles. They visit the baby, presenting gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).
Then, Matthew tells of the baby being born during the time of King Herod. When Herod found out about the Messiah being born, he told his men to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem under the age of two years old in order to protect his status. This is when the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph again in a dream and told him to flee to Egypt with the baby and Mary.
Matthew recounts King Herod's anxiety upon learning of the Messiah's birth. In a malicious plot to safeguard his reign, Herod instructs the killing of all baby boys in Bethlehem under the age of two.
An angel intervenes, appearing to Joseph in a dream, prompting the family to flee to Egypt to escape Herod's threat. After Herod's death, the angel directs Joseph to return to Israel, assuring him that those who sought the child's life are no more (Matthew 2:19-20).
I really enjoyed compiling these facts for you to better understand the story of baby Jesus from the gospels.
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