Jesus’ Birth and Private Life (Journeys 1-3)

Introducing Period 1: 30 years of private life.

The highlight of Journeys 1-3 is that we outline Jesus’ first 30 years of private life, which was before His Baptism and beginning of ministry.

Journey 1, Part 1: Presenting Jesus in the Temple

The Scripture we will be referencing is Luke 2:22-39. Jesus journeys from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, and then returns back to Bethlehem. Jesus was 8 days old and circumcised. When Jesus became 40 days old, He was taken to the Temple for dedication. At the dedication, Simeon prophesies and Anna testifies over the baby Jesus.

A man named Simeon stands up and prophesies, and soon, Anna, the widow from the Temple, gives thanks for Israel’s redemption. Mary, at the end of the forty days, went up to the Temple to offer the appointed sacrifices for her own purification. Joseph was there too, as he presented the Holy Child, Jesus, because, according to the purification law, the firstborn must always be dedicated to God.

Apparently, the firstborn Jewish male child already had the destiny to be a priest; therefore, Jesus met such requirements so He was dedicated for service unto God. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

Jesus' presentation in the Temple

Those that wanted to see the Baby Jesus had to go to the Temple. Simeon gave such a confession, as he knew Jesus was the Savior. Simeon said, “For mine eyes have seen thy Salvation. A Light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.” Mary and Joseph were certainly astonished at such confessions, for Simeon had blessed them. The hopes had shown of all those that embrace Christ would have the thoughts of their hearts revealed.

Soon, Anna, the Prophetess, visits, who has been in the Temple several times. She appears to be part of the Tribe of Asher, to which, this older widow has prayed, fasted, and serviced many. She even went around telling others about the Savior of the world just born.

What can we understand from this?

This Baby Jesus attracted a Prophet and Prophetess (among many more), He was not born in sin or needed a mortification of corruption, or even renewal unto holiness. This was so revealing that He would one day be in total obedience to the whole Law, even in sufferings and temptations, and even more in death for us. This might remind us to dedicate our children unto the Lord, especially in thanks for His giving of the child unto us. More than anything, what some thought when they beheld the Christ Child was an immediate revelation from God (a big announcement for their mindset) that this is the Savior of the world. This child was going to be great and so many knew it, for they gave glory to God!

Journey 1, Part 2: Wise men from the east

We have already extensively covered this in a different blog, please take a look at it – The Wise Men, More than Magi.

The Wise Men from the East

Journey 2: Flight to Egypt

The Scripture we will be referencing for this is Matthew 2:13-23 and Luke 2:39-40. Joseph takes Mary and Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt, and then from Egypt back to Nazareth. Joseph has a dream; the Angel commands him to take Mary and the Child, and then flee into Egypt. Herod slaughters all male children under the age of two. Herod dies. Joseph has a second dream. Return of the Holy Family to Judea, evidently to live there, but they continued on to Nazareth when they found Archelaus in power.

The Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream telling him to take Mary and Jesus to flee to Egypt. King Herod wanted every male child eliminated under the age of 2, which was only based on the details the Magi had given him. Because Jesus was in the area and was under the age of 2, Herod wanted them all eliminated, so that Jesus could be included in the elimination process.

Now, they stayed in Egypt until the death of Herod. They wanted to live in Egypt, until finding out that Herod’s Son, Archelaus, was in power, to which, they escaped to Nazareth. This place called Nazareth was near Galilee and was not very well known. Moreover, Luke stated Christ grew and waxed strong in the Spirit, to which, He was filled with wisdom and had the grace of God.

What can we learn from this?

God, when He is pleased to do so, can make the worst situations turn out best. This may have been a trial for Mary and Joseph. Apparently, their faith was firm, for they had the protection of God upon them. In addition, many children had suffered. However, whatever crafty or cruel tricks of man or of evil may be, the Justice of God will stand overall!

Just as Egypt created bondage for people then, it could’ve held Mary, Joseph, and Christ, to which, He could have been killed; however, the Lord directed them to their “Canaan” (Nazareth, the Promised Land). Whenever one is in bondage, the Lord will free them so that He may be glorified!

Journey 3: Jesus’ first Passover at Jerusalem

We have covered this very extensively, so see it here at Jesus’ First Passover.

Image of the Temple

Concluding this set of Journeys

Thank you for reading through and hopefully enjoying this start of the series. Please post below in the comments if you have any questions, or would like to begin the discussion.

Journey into Christ’s Life

Last year, while still running a ministry, our team was putting together Life of Christ content, but we have not finished. Now with the new ministry of Dr Jay, we are able to produce quickly what the Lord wants to minister.

Join us in the Journey with Christ over the next several weeks, as we explore different themes regarding the life of Jesus Christ. We have a Christmas story that is embedded within all of the Life of Christ, so it is unlikely that we will have a “special” for this Christmas. However, this is to encourage you to follow along on this Journey with Christ.

To give you a preview of this series, please join me in a quick overview of the series and a sample teaching below.

Journey with Christ overview

From birth to ascension, we chronicle the Life of Christ in this Journey with Christ. We are talking 64 journeys. There is no specific length of time this series will take, so keep on following this blog as well as our social pages to see more information and learn much about Christ.

Sample lesson

Jesus Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, chronicled in Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:17-49, illustrated six things:

  • Murder
  • Adultery
  • Divorce
  • Oaths
  • Retaliation
  • Love for your enemies

The overall sermon is constructed in the following way:

  1. The Introduction: The Beatitudes and the Woes.
  2. Ethical teachings as noted in the six things above.
  3. The practice of real righteousness, instead of the flashy, Pharisaical ways in almsgiving, prayer, fasting, etc.
  4. Single-hearted devotion to God.
  5. Captious criticism or judging of others.
  6. Prayer and the Golden Rule.
  7. The conclusion: Lesson of personal righteousness driven home by powerful parables.

In the Beatitudes, there are four commands concerning love:

  1. Love your enemies
  2. Bless them that curse you
  3. Do good to those who hate you
  4. Pray for those who persecute you

He also teaches many things that Christians should be:

  • Broken in spirit, which involves being burdened for others, meek, humble, hungry for righteousness, and merciful.
  • Pure in heart, including being wise, patient, loving, joyful, and gracious; salt to preserve and a Light to shine.
  • A teacher, which involves being worth keeping of the truth, avoiding false teachers and teachings, etc.
  • Free from hypocrisy, including selfishness and grudges.
  • A peacemaker, which includes being free from lusts.
  • A giver, which includes giving liberally and cheerfully.
  • A family man, which includes being responsible in the care of your family.
  • Truthful, especially being a truth example of Jesus.
  • Non-resistant to mistreatment.
  • Charitable, which includes the example of Jesus’ unrestricted, unconditional love. Also, note the instructions on things concerning love.
  • Neighborly, which involves putting Jesus first, others next, and yourself last to bring a lasting joy.
  • Godly in society.

We have nine reasons not to worry:

  1. Life is more than meat
  2. The body more than raiment
  3. Men are greater than materials
  4. Humanity is greater than the fowls of the air whom God feeds without their labor
  5. Humanity is better than the plants that don’t worry about their clothing
  6. Worry cannot change the body (except for the worse)
  7. Worry is useless and sinful, worry should not be something we keep up, for it is foolish. What is going to happen cannot be stopped by worry, and if it does not happen, there was nothing to worry about anyway.
  8. God’s Providence is over all Creation
  9. Should adversities come, one can still be victorious by trusting God.

Concluding

Many thanks for reading through and learning more on the overview of this series and catching a glimpse of the teaching from the Sermon on the Mount.

We look forward to producing good content, within text, pictures, and most of all: video!

Blessings unto you! Any questions or anything confusing above such as hard to understand? Leave a comment below.

Lukewarm? Depart from the evil world

Our reading begins in Revelation 3:14-22. The church at Laodicea had a major problem in that they said they were followers of Christ; however, they enjoyed their possessions and Earthly lives instead of a life and relationship with Christ. Jesus warns them that they are to repent of their selfish ways and focus on Him instead.

Are you within a theological realm of influence where your pastor or teacher sounds nice and warm in everything he says? Is it relaxing to “go to church”? Is it relaxing to live a lie?

Who is teaching?

Most places that are teaching the Bible are lukewarm. Jesus wants no part with them. You need to be hot (zealous) about the Gospel and the Bible… You are encouraged in zeal to preach and teach. 2 Timothy 4:3 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” Also, read in 1 Corinthians 4:6, “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”

If you depend on someone to teach you the Bible, then their teaching should be practical, challenging, and truthful! 1 Corinthians 3:19, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.”

Don’t give in to the façade of “love” if it means the preacher hides the truth. Don’t forsake the truth for love… You will regret it. John 15:2, “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Mark 4:20, “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Matthew 7:16-17, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”

Most preachers do not know how to teach the Bible, why to teach it, and how to understand it for how to help others understand it. See Colossians 2:18, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,”

Follow the command then in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

It is of no surprise this has occurred, for we read the warning in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

What about your life?

You may claim to be Christian, but your life says differently if you are not bearing fruit by life and mind transformation, and departing from sin. Isaiah 29:13, “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.” Titus 1:16, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”

You cannot live both lives, just as you cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). You must either live completely for Christ, or live completely for the world. You can stop trying to both, because God knows… Therefore, be attentive to how you live your life. Nothing legalistic, but do not serve the worldly lusts if you claim to be of God.

What happens to those who depart from the truth?

Matthew 7:20-25 says, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”

This means that if you serve Christ and abide by His Teachings, you will have truly had the Gift of Salvation. Departing from sin, bearing fruit of Salvation, and serving God and others are all evidences of true Salvation. One God, One Faith, One Baptism. Hallelujah!

Practicing sin instead of departing from it

We read warnings of those who practice sin instead of departing from sin. We are supposed to be departing away from sin, for this is the evidence of true Salvation. Those who fail to depart from sin should question if they are truly saved, and attempt to repent and stay away from sin. Let us read…

“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” (1 John 3:8-10).

Hebrews 10:26, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.”

Do not show off your righteousness if you have it

Matthew 6:1 states, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”

Do not love the world nor the things in it

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

Beware of these lukewarmness examples

2 Timothy 3:1-5, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat” (1 Corinthians 5:11).

OPEN YOUR EYES!

Acts 26:18: “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

What will you do?

It is hopeful that you take these things to heart and understand the admonitions from the Bible concerning lukewarmness. If you would like to comment, please do so below.

Jesus Appearance to Mary and the Disciples – [Archaeological Guide]

When some people think of Jesus appearing to different people… {Mary Magdalene, Peter, two disciples on the Road to Emmaus, and all other disciples except Thomas}

Some think Jesus was a ghost when He appeared to those people. After all, if someone who was purportedly killed on the brutal cross and was placed in a tomb with a huge boulder—of course, people would think a ghost has appeared.

Then, what happened? Jesus said to them… “Be not afraid.” Now, let us explore…

First, it’s not “Easter.” Acts 12:4, “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” The usage of “Easter” in this sentence is a poor translation, because the original Greek word is transliterated, “pascha,” or in what we know as “Passover.”

We will read today in two Scriptures. Let us begin with the first one in Matthew 28:1-13

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail.

And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.”

Now, we shall read in John 20:1-31

“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

What we have read then, is that early in the morning of [Easter Sunday] the Resurrection Day, women went to the tomb to find that the stone that kept the tomb closed was removed, to which the Angel of the Lord told them that Jesus was actually alive (the women thought the angel was a young man, as he had appeared youthful to them). However, the angel was an angelic being embodied as a human to defer suspicion they had seen a foreign being. Soon, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene in the garden, and then to Peter, and finally to the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Later that day, He appeared to all disciples except for “doubting Thomas.” After eight days, Thomas was able to palpate Jesus’ wounded areas, and believe for himself that Jesus was alive. It was clear from this evidence Jesus was not a ghost, but He was a materialized being; God in Christ in an immortal human body form.

Has Jesus appeared to you yet? Has He made His Presence known through your life? If He has not, then it is a fine time to ask Him to do so. Are you a believer? Do you believe Jesus died and then rose again to redeem us of our sins (wrongdoings)? If you believe, you shall receive eternal life and shall never die.

Now, we shall dive into some interesting things of these two bands of Scripture. In order according, here is how Jesus was seen when we resurrected: The Angel first, the women second, and the disciples last. What is most striking is that The Father (GOD) gave all power to the Son after He achieved redemption, which had been equally His with the Father and Holy Spirit before becoming a man – it’s just that His Power was limited in Jesus while being a “mortal man.” However, after resurrecting into an immortal body (which believers shall do in the future – HALLELUJAH!), He gained all glorious power back (*See also Luke 2:40, 52; Philippians 2:7; John 8:28; 17:5; Ephesians 1:20-23; Colossians 1:15-18).

Archaeological and Historical Data

The data available for John 20 is that first they were found in Magdala (where Mary Magdalene is found – given “Magdalene” refers to where this Mary is from, to distinguish between the other ‘Marys’ Jesus was familiar with). Magdala appears to have been a fishing town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. Extensive remains have been found here since 2009, where a seawall, a large harbor, and docks had been excavated. The first century boat of Jesus was discovered offshore just to the north – Josephus mentions a hippodrome. A well-planned city was unearthed in this area also, with many amenities, which was probably related to Herod Antipas’s Galilean territory, complete with a synagogue of mosaics including Jewish symbols. Jesus may have known of this, as Jesus foretold a destruction coming upon those who did evil against Him. This area of the Galilean territory was destroyed in AD 68, just a couple years before the complete destruction, especially on Titus’ hands, was completed.

The marks that Thomas had allegedly palpated were probable, as archaeological finds had shown in the Roman area of a heel bone with a stake embedded in it, which was found at Givat Hamivtar near Jerusalem.

For the tombs, there were a few different portions to the excavated tombs from the 1,000 or more that were investigated… It was fact that in these tombs were several burial chambers: a loculi (burial niches), a cut in the side walls to place the body of the deceased, and arcosolia (arched niches), where ossuaries (which were chests for bones – and no not canopic jars for their organs) were placed within. However, a few of the tombs only had one burial chamber, where a rolling stone would close off – this was fact, and it seems Jesus was placed in one of the “luxury tombs”. This would be consistent with the idea that Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man, and was consulted for the tomb he could provide for Jesus’ body (see Matthew 27:57). Because of these clues, we are able to truly note the Scripture is not dubious on proclaiming these details of the Resurrection – which makes the Resurrection more of a fact.

Sadducees opposed the concept of resurrection of the dead, while Pharisees were okay with it. Some Jewish literature had anticipated a general resurrection of the dead, such as the claim “God makest the dead alive” found in Shemoneh ‘Esreh. All four Gospels assert a complete resurrection of Jesus into an immortal body, and even Paul was completely convinced of this resurrection, even though Jesus did not appear to him except in the vision on the Road to Damascus (see 1 Corinthians 15). In the first century Greco-Roman world, however, most people did not believe in life after death. With Judas Maccabeus recognizing some of his dead soldiers were secret idol worshipers, he noted only a few believed in life after death. This was likely their potentially reasonable belief of life after death – which many people who were spiritual seemed to believe in life after death, because of their out of body experiences. However, paganism was rampant in these days (not as much nowadays, even so prevalent nonetheless).

Keep in mind, until the 20th century AD, the crucifixion did not have any evidence whatsoever. UNBELIEVABLE! The heel bone with the embedded stake revealed an evidence of Roman crucifixion along with other burial remains in different Roman tombs. The nail was 4.5 inches long. It appeared in the archaeological find that ropes must have been used to secure the arms instead of stakes. Josephus had observed people were crucified in different positions, such as Peter being noted for crucified upside down. It is possible this is the case, but again, the evidence is severely limited. However, the texts uncovered from Jewish and Roman laws noted the following information:

  • Those executed by hanging on a tree shall be properly entombed (Deuteronomy 21:22-23; John 19:31)
  • The body being placed in the proper designated area for executed criminals (Sanhedrin text 6:5-6)
  • Jesus was executed by Roman authorities, so He was subject to their law regarding it; therefore, Joseph of Arimathea (a member of the Sanhedrin) went to Pilate to request a Jewish burial for Jesus (oh how noble of Joseph to recognize Jesus’ Jewish roots!!!), which is consistent with the evidence found for crucifixions, burials, and resurrections in all ancient literature from the Greco-Roman era and Jewish seminar.

Therefore, prophecy was fulfilled for Jesus’ burial according to Jewish Law (Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:43-46; Luke 23:50-55; John 19:38-42; 1 Corinthians 15:4). The only other ones to receive this form of luxury treatment were powerful rulers and leaders, such as the evidence of burial luxury for Queen Helena of Adiabene, the family tomb of King Herod of Jerusalem and his nearby family’s tomb, and another one located in the upper Kidron Valley. Isaiah 53:9 was correct then, if the information found is revealed evidence of this tomb resurrection. Our hope continues to lie within the revealed evidence supporting the faith of us. We are so grateful for these archaeological finds – although imperfect are those finds, they are still clues that build our faith. Keep following me… We have more to explore.

Jesus could not be tempted successfully

Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, a classic account from Jesus’ life when satan attempted to convince Jesus to sin (temptation). Although satan tempted Jesus continuously, Jesus would not give in and be tempted successfully. This temptation came after Jesus had just finished fasting for 40 days and nights in the Judaean Desert. Reportedly in the Bible, Jesus was tempted in every way that man was; however, Jesus successfully resisted the devil, which caused satan to flee from Him – and afterward, angels came and ministered to the Son of God.

Let’s read the account of it in Matthew 4:1-11, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”

(There is no need to read the additional account in Luke 4:1-13; however, you may read it in your own time if you would like to compare the two narrative accounts on Jesus’ Temptation.)

What were the temptations:

  1. Physical – Lust of the flesh – Turning stone to bread
  2. Spiritual – Pride of life – Leaping from the Temple
  3. Psychological – Lust of power – Desiring the glory of the kingdoms of the world

What do we learn from this then? We learn that satan attempts to take advantage of our circumstances, satan’s temptations are often the strongest immediately after being favored, and satan’s ideas are plausible in that they seem good, but are not actually.

Jesus shows us how to counter the temptations and endure in steadfastness, and give us the ideal guide – The Word – for use in our everyday lives.

Jesus’ Baptism of Immersion where sin turns to Righteousness

The site of Bethany near the Jordan River – believed site for Jesus’ Baptism

In a nutshell: John the Baptist appears to Jesus, preaches, and then baptizes Jesus. What is baptism? Immersion of somebody into water, which turns sin to righteousness – an outward symbol of an inward act. Although it is not required for Salvation, it is a step of obedience for those believing in Christ to help wash them inwardly of sin (symbolically – meaning it helps to cleanse the conscience so we are not as worried about sin).

John was a baby during the time Herod demanded that all male babies be killed (see earlier episodes of this series); therefore, John was saved as well as we see. John was six months older than Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist had a gift that was similar to the Old Testament prophets, and keep in mind that John the Baptist is the fulfillment of the prophecy that the spirit of Elijah will reincarnate – therefore, John is that reincarnation.

John preached repentance, because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Water baptism was part of this, as it was (keyword: was) required by the Law of Moses to be baptized for the elimination of sin. John did say that He (Jesus) was coming one day to eliminate the need for Water Baptism, because He would bring a new kind of Baptism (the Baptism involving the Holy Ghost – Hallelujah). When Jesus approached John at first, John refused to baptize Jesus, as he didn’t feel worthy.

About repentance: Repentance allows someone to make a change in their life, from something bad to good (sin to righteousness), which allows renewing of the heart. For example, if something is bad, you believe, then you can turn your life around for good – which is an act of repentance.

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist for several reasons identified in Scripture: 1. To identify completely with mankind; 2. Water Baptism is symbolic of Jesus’ death in the future that also involved resurrection; 3. To be set aside for the office of Priest.

Now time for us to explore the Scriptures related to this beautiful event…

Matthew 3: “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Now, before rolling back into prophecy… Let us first read in John 1:19-28, “And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.”

What a fulfillment of prophecy, the Lord Jesus Christ… Let us read our first fulfillment in Matthew 17:12-13, “But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”

Now, we go over to Colossians 2:11-12, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”Do we understand the depth of Jesus’ Baptism now? If not, please ask questions in this post, and I would love to discuss it with you.

Jesus’ First Passover

Image of the Second Temple, Reconstructed by Schematics

Many things are beginning to be interesting in Jesus’ Life. We don’t receive much information about Jesus’ earlier life, except for this main thing: When He turned 12, He was allowed to attend the Passover at the Temple.

Temple Services were only allowed (and required typically) once a boy turned 12 years of age, which is also known (at least to us and generally contextually) for the age of pre-adolescence. Once a child begins to appear pre-adolescent, he/she becomes more accountable in their lives. Such a thing enabled a child to begin maturing much more rapidly and soon approaching their purpose.

For Jesus, this was highly important to begin His Preparation for ministry by training continuously in the doctrines of the Temple before the doctors (teachers).

His parents traveled a days’ journey home before they found Jesus was not with them. Re-read that last sentence. How does that work out? Maybe they trusted He could take care of Himself without their intervention. Nonetheless, when Joseph and Mary journeyed back, they could not find Him amongst the friends and family of theirs. Therefore, they became dumbfounded they had a lost child (and that lost child being the Son of God – this is a big problem they thought).

Quick question of thought: Many people have lost Jesus, but later found Him…? Think about that for a minute. Think Salvation for a moment…

Where did they find Him? In the Temple, busy astounding the doctors with many questions. His inquisitive nature assuredly impressed them. Once Mary asked Jesus why He stayed behind, Jesus questioned her if she was aware He had to be about His Father’s (Father God) business.

He became obedient, nonetheless, and indeed to His parents. He grew in stature and wisdom, because it was highly important for Him to obey man, which was great that He also obeyed God earnestly.

Self-submission was just the beginning and prophecy fulfillment was beginning, as later He would be submissive to His Flock, to His killers, and to God overall in everything.

Many have wondered of His skilled trade in carpentry, to which was the trade of His father, Joseph. All Jewish boys had done this – learning trades of their fathers. It is assumed His work in carpentry involved roof making, boat building, door making, window making, and creating divan frames.

With all that said… Let’s begin our reading today in Luke 2:41-52…

“Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

PROPHECIES & FULFILLMENTS

The prophecy fulfillments are seemingly innumerable in this instance. Let us read about such fulfillments, in the combined verses of John 13:1 and 18:28, “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.”

Jesus’ First Passover was a prophecy premonition to the much later Passover to occur toward the end of His Earthly Work.

God’s Purposes allow us to see the end from the beginning; however, God’s Guidance in the middle/in the thick of things is what’s most important. Now that we have the premonition in place for Jesus’ Ministry Work and His Future Redemptive Work, we must proceed next week into the beginning of the full preparation of Ministry.

NOTE: To quickly reference the requirements of people at the three feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, look in Exodus 23:17 and Deuteronomy 16:16.

Herod the Great wanted Jesus Dead

He wanted to kill Jesus… Right from the start, the enemy had his sights set on Jesus’ death, to which he used Herod to bring this hopeful reality – But the enemy was only being short-sighted, for he knew that one day, the promised redeemer would crush the head of the serpent (see Genesis 3).

We will be reading soon, but first, let me explain… Joseph has this dream, where he was warned of an imminent danger and that he needs to take Jesus and Mary and flee to Egypt. It was Herod’s mission to slay all male children under the age of two. We don’t know how many children were slewed – quite a bit or only a little. They were able to escape successfully, which was good for them to survive.

Eventually, Herod dies, and Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were able to return to Egypt and live safely. When they arrived, Joseph saw Herod’s son, Archelaus, in power – so they went on to Nazareth.

Luke passes over this episode; however, Matthew explains the prophecy of Hosea 1:1, “Out of Egypt have I called my Son.” In addition, the weeping prophet, Jeremiah, has something to say on this in 31:15, “Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.”

NOW, let’s explore the Bible verses for this story, Matthew 2:13-23, “And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”

Historicity and Archaeological Data

Herod was apparently an unstable leader, threatened by the onset of Jesus’ Birth, the recognition from the wise men for the King made Herod quite anxious. Since he was so anxious, he had all the children under 2 slayed, to which caused an immense struggle for Joseph, Mary, and Jesus to flee to Egypt. Thankfully, the gifts they received at Jesus’ Birth through the visitations provided them with enough to make it to Egypt without too much complication.

This was seemingly around 4 BC, since Herod the Great ruled from 37-4 BC. Herod’s Kingdom, which he inherited from his father, Herod Antipater, was vast. When Herod died in 4 BC, his kingdom was divided into parts where all three of his potentially ruling sons can take over. Archelaus became ethnarch of Judea, Idumea, and Samaria. Antipas became tetrarch of Galilee and Perea. Finally, Philip became tetrarch of Gaulanitis.

Herod’s Palace; Photo courtesy: Ron Dauphin

Josephus noted Archelaus was tyrannical, which was similar to his father, Herod the Great; however, Archelaus had little ability and bore no fruit during his reign. Augustus, in 6 AD, banished Archelaus to Gaul for being so incompetent, which would suppress his heavy-handed excess treatment against the Jews and Samaritans and suppress any anti-government riots soon to break out.

Archaeologists and historians verified Matthew’s story of this smiting of all the under age 2 children, by research that many small bones being found beneath the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The Herodium

Josephus notes the physical agony of Herod the Great upon his death. He was buried, as Josephus notes, with great splendor and pomp, and notes the burial happened at Herod’s fortress, Herodium, where remains of this tomb were discovered on the northern slope of Jerusalem.

Herod’s Palace, Lower Terrage zone

Archaeological evidence suggests that the Jews entered the tomb of Herod the Great, where they allegedly smashed his sarcophagus or coffin – which was around the time of the Jewish Revolt of 66-68 AD. This was enacted because of revenge against Herod. Some were skeptical at Josephus’ discovery, until it was confirmed in 2007 when archaeologists found the tomb and remains of Herod.

The sarcophagus was decorated with rosette ornaments and made overall of red imported stone.

On an overall basis, we assume many decorated his tomb, but the Jews absolutely hated Herod and decided to wreak vengeance on his remains. Although, they didn’t rid the evidence, which made it very useful for discoveries contemporarily.

The Wise Men: More than Magi

The adoration of the Magi, after they followed that ‘star in the east’ to Jesus. Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P., CC BY-NC-ND

The Wise Men (not just three wise men and not just three gifts) came from “afar” between 40 days and 2 years after the birth of Christ to visit the holy child and bear gifts unto Him. Scripture gives us information that there were three gifts presented (which is because at the time the Scripture witness was there, he only saw three gifts presented most notable). These gifts stated in Scripture were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Why were these three most notable? They carry extraordinary significance. Gold is a measurable money, frankincense is a perfume and healing agent, and myrrh is a burial spice and healing agent. God equipped His Son just as He now equips us for everything.

Why were they wise men? They were philosophers, priests, astronomers, medical practitioners/apothecaries, religious leaders, scribes, etc. Many of them dwelt in Persia or Arabia, and were held in high esteem. The Star they followed at night to guide them to the Newborn King was a significant one as the usual odd star appearances signified the birth or death of a very important figure (good or evil). In this case, it was very good! Someone remarkable just appeared and the Jews were sore amazed and avidly looking for the Messiah.

What does the Prophet Daniel speak in this moment? Daniel 9:25-27 says, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

Such prophecy meant the Jews would be anxious at such remarkable event, as I said, the appearing of a new star or comet meant an omen that some remarkable or notorious person was born or had died. For example, a comet appeared for seven days at the death of Julius Caesar. People knew this situation was no anecdote.

He was to be honored as King of the Jews, or the Coming King. What about Son of God? Many did not know this child to be as the Son of God. However, some were sent because they were to “spy” for Herod and report their findings. Herod had an evil plan in mind, which we will discuss in the next part of our series.

Let us read then in Matthew 2:1-11, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Archaeologically speaking, we do not see enough reference points to reveal the data; however, there has been a significant surfacing research that there is a grotto beneath the Nativity Church that could have been the birthplace of Christ, and that the grotto was built over top of to protect it from any harm as it is a holy site.

Astronomers Michael Mornar and David Weintraub from Vanderbilt University attempt to investigate:

“The portent began on April 17 of 6 BC (with the heliacal rising of Jupiter that morning, followed, at noon, by its lunar occultation in the constellation Aries) and lasted until December 19 of 6 BC (when Jupiter stopped moving to the west, stood still briefly, and began moving to the east, as compared with the fixed background stars). By the earliest time the men could have arrived in Bethlehem, the baby Jesus would likely have been at least a toddler.”

Historical research shows that the Herodian Lineage was quite an evil lineage (which we will discuss in further depth next episode). Nonetheless, what we see overall is that The Temple was where Herod would conduct ruling business, and that is where several decisions were made to spy on Jesus, conduct investigations, and attempt an evil deed against Jesus.

North and west of The Temple was Herod’s Palace near the Upper City in Jerusalem, and then Herod also had his own outer defense wall built along with an aqueduct. This is significantly pagan in nature due to the entropic of closing the city tight near his palace to prevent any spying on his evil activities. Traditional scholars warrant a further investigation into his functions, which we will be getting to very soon.

We wish for more evidence to be brought into this situation; however, there is still limited evidence for the appearance of an odd star, many note as “Star of David” – nonetheless, we do have the assurance a King was born in the City of David and that the remarkable event staged an immediate action by King Herod. Such action would influence the very being of the course of the world, lest a Savior were to come. The Spirit of God is upon us, and we have to be aware of His Provision as He makes way in just the right moment.We will explore more next week as we Discover Research that Leverages Faith.

Birth of Jesus Christ – Historical Look

Our future redeemer was said to be born of the seed of a woman, as the Lord says in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Who should this redeemer be? In Galatians 4:4-5, we have fulfillment, where Paul says, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

The Lord said to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” and then in 22:17-18, “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Jesus was born of the seed of Abraham as we read in Matthew 1:1.

What this means is that a King is coming from Abraham that shall bless all the nations of the earth – and should Abraham obey, there shall be a tremendous redemption.

After that, in Genesis 17:19, we see the redeemer also coming from Isaac confirmed in Matthew 1:2, therefore we read in Genesis 17:19, “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.”Then, in Genesis 49:10, we read Jacob’s words here, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

Who then is this coming “Shiloh?” The lawgiver may be around, but a new lawgiver is coming eventually? From whence He came? Shiloh? What about the Sceptre? Someone coming who would unimaginably rule the world with the greatest prosperity?

Who is the One who comes from Jacob? In Numbers 24:17, we read what Balaam said, “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

“The Star from Jacob, the Sceptre from Israel, the One with the power to smite the corners of Moab and destroy the children of Sheth… Who was it? Jesus! As we read in Matthew 1:2. Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah, which is confirmed in Luke 3:33.What about Job 19:25, the Coming Redeemer? Job speaks this then… “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” This Coming Redeemer arriving to save Job and the world overall from death.

According to Isaiah 7:14, this Redeemer will be conceived through a Virgin, as God said, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7). Where do we find this fulfillment? In Luke 1:32-33, the angel told Mary, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

His throne shall be established upon the throne of David – the One of whom shall multiply the seed forever!And He shall be of the Root of Jesse, In Isaiah 11:10, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” Of the root of Jesse, as we see in Isaiah 11:10, it shall be the One even the Gentiles seek! Victory for the Gentiles through the Coming Christ from the root of Jesse!

We see this confirmed branch of righteousness from David in Jeremiah 23:5, the Lord speaks it so, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.”

Who is the Son of man revealed in Daniel’s visions in 7:13-14, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” In Luke 1:26-31, we read the confirmation from the angel Gabriel to Mary, “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”

What time shall His Birth come? We see in Daniel 9:25, the angel Gabriel telling Daniel, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” That confirmed in Luke 2:1-2 as we will read more into a little later.

Is this the One called from Egypt in Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”

Apparently, He is the One to be born in Bethlehem as we see in Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” The Coming King, who reigned before the foundation of the world, shall come and be that Great One! We will read the confirming of His Birth in Bethlehem in Luke 2:4-7.

New Testament Accounts

Matthew 1:18-2:11, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Luke 2:6-16, “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.”

This Messiah, Jesus, is God in the flesh – 100% God and 100% Man (see Colossians 2:9). He existed even before the foundation of the world, as He is God in the flesh… SO, Let’s read in John 1:1-18, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”