Jesus’ miraculous deeds while on earth are still a wonder to many believers today. While celebrating Christmas, Christians try to understand how his inexplicable conception and birth occurred. Since Matthew 1:18 suggests his conceiving was extraordinary, many believers wonder, ‘How was Jesus born?’
Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem. According to the scriptures, Joseph went to Bethlehem with his pregnant wife to register for a census. When they got there, Mary’s time for the baby to be born came, and because there were no guest rooms available, she gave birth in a stable where they were staying.
How was Jesus conceived? Is it true that the Son of Man was born in a manger? And what happened when Jesus was born? This article will provide the biblical evidence necessary to find the answers to these questions. Read on!
The story of Jesus’ conception is still a wonder to many believers. The Bible implies that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was pledged to be married to Joseph. Yet, before they got together, Mary discovered she was pregnant. This is very surreal because, in Christianity, a couple does not get intimate until after marriage. Hence, the reason why Joseph must have been shocked.
Still, because the father of Jesus did not want his wife to be disgraced, he kept this matter a secret but, according to the Bible, planned to divorce her quietly. So later, when the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, he was relieved. Matthew 1:20-22 says, ‘But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.
The Word suggests that Jesus’ conception was miraculous. It implies that he was conceived through the Holy Spirit because he was going to be a powerful man who would save his people from their sins.
The Bible does not say the exact date when Jesus was born. However, religious scholars have identified clues to suggest when it could have been. Most imply that, unlike most Christians assume, Jesus was not born on December 25th.
According to theologians, two events surrounding the birth of Jesus help conclude when he may have been born.
- The registration of the census
- The shepherds watching over their sheep.
The scripture says that when Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census is done in the entire Roman world, everyone was to do so in their town. Now biblical scholars speculate that it would take most people a week or more to travel back to their town, and although many may not have liked this order, they would have hated even their leader, even more had they been asked to register during winter.
Secondly, Luke 2:8 mentions that when Jesus was born, the shepherds were watching their flocks at night. Bible commentator Adam Clarke speculates that Jews would send their sheep in the open air from the spring to early October.
From this information, theologians imply that Jesus was born in October in the early fall of 2 BCE. They further back this by speculating that his death was on the Passover Nissan 14 in the spring of 33CE, John 19:14-16. Religious scholars believe he was 30 years old when he began his 3 ½ year ministry. (Luke 3:23)
Luke 2 states how the parents of Jesus were headed to Bethlehem, the town of David, for the registration of the census. At the time, they lived in Nazareth, but because Joseph belonged to the line of David, he had to go all the way, as had been ordered by Caesar Augustus.
When they got there, Luke 2:6-7 says, while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.
This scripture insinuates that Jesus was born in a manger, where animals lay because there was no room for his parents.
After Jesus was born, the night got even more miraculous. The Word speculates that shepherds were watching over their flocks nearby, and an angel appeared before them. They were terrified, but the angel asked them not to be afraid because he was bringing good news. The news was announced, and afterward, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God (Luke 2:13).
So the Bible speculates that when the angels had left, the shepherds went to Bethlehem to look for the baby in a manger. When they found him, they went to spread the news and praised God.
Then came the Wise men, referred to as the ‘magi’ in the Bible. They had seen the star and followed it, but King Herod met them on the way and asked them about the birth of Jesus and the location. He then told them to go to Bethlehem to find him and then report back to him so that he, too, can go and worship Jesus.
So the wise men went ahead and found Jesus with his mother, Mary, in the manger, and they worshiped him. Then they gifted him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, they returned to their country using another route and did not go to Herod because they had been warned in a dream of Herod’s intentions. Matthew 2:1-12
- Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
In this verse, the unborn child’s name is given by an angel.
- Luke 1:31-33: He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” These verses describes the purpose of Jesus in details and mentions his Lineage.
- Luke 2:7: and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them. This verse gives us the details after Jesus was born. Unlike other babies, he was placed in a manger after birth.
- Matthew 2:1: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem. These are details after Jesus’s birth. The wise men’s visit is significant as it shows that Jesus was not an ordinary baby, but the Lord of Lords.
- John 1:1-3: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him, all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. These verses are symbolic. They describe Jesus as being present in the beginning of the world and being with God. It also mentions that the Word was God, meaning that Jesus is God.
- Galatians 4:4-5: But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Galatians describes the human nature of Jesus. It also emphasizes that through Jesus, we were reconciled to God and become his sons.
- Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” This is the prophecy that foretold the birthplace of the Messiah and his role as King of Kings.
- John 1:14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the father, full of grace and truth. In this verse, we see that Jesus was born in the flesh, but he was without sin.
- Jeremiah 23:5: “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. This is Jeremiah’s prophecy about the Messiah. He would come from the Lineage of David and he would not be an ordinary king.
- Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. This is yet another prophecy about the Messiah. The prophet Isaiah gives some of the names that would define Jesus.