Have you ever excitedly anticipated something only to find that when it arrived it was nothing like what you had expected? Maybe as a kid you were expecting to get a BB gun for Christmas, but instead you unwrapped pajamas. Let down. Well, when we unwrap the story of Jesus’ birth, it isn’t what you might expect, but it certainly isn’t a letdown. In this video installment, we explore the first two chapters in the book of Luke and the extraordinary circumstances surrounding this Earth-shattering event. Dive into the blog after you watch this exciting video on the birth of Jesus.
The Time Had Come
For 400 years before Jesus’ birth, God was silent. He spoke no prophetic words, psalms or encouragement to His people. And then one day, He appeared and made a fairly significant announcement. What was the message that would compel God to break His silence?
For centuries, dating all the way back to Genesis 2, the scriptures would point to a Savior who would deliver the world from the bondage of sin and establish God’s kingdom on earth. You can imagine then, when this Messiah finally came in the form of a tiny baby Jesus, born to a young, poor, no-named girl (AKA the famous Virgin Mary) people might doubt. Surely this could not be the savior the prophets spoke of! Baby Jesus was after all born in, of all places, a barn, placed in a feeding trough, and His birth was celebrated by goat and sheep-herders. This was hardly appropriate accommodations for the King of Kings, or was it?
Let’s explore the cast of characters and the events surrounding the birth of Jesus you will find in this exciting first installment of our five-part mini-series on the Book of Luke.
The Herald – John the Baptist
It all began with an old barren couple, reminiscent of Abraham and Sarah. Zechariah, a priest, and his wife Elizabeth, a descendant of Israel’s first High Priest Aaron, tried unsuccessfully for years to have a baby. Even though Zechariah worked in the temple, the couple may have faced criticism, shame and guilt because of their barrenness.
And then one day, an angel appeared to Zechariah and told him to get ready for a son. He and Elizabeth would name their son John. The boy would bring his parents joy, be great in God’s sight and prepare the people for the Messiah. (Fun family fact: Elizabeth and Mary were cousins).
Zechariah couldn’t believe the news. How could he and Elizabeth possibly have a baby? Because he questioned the angel in disbelief, Zechariah was struck with muteness. He would be silent until John was born and God’s prophecy was fulfilled.
Virgin Conception & Birth
Gabriel was, of course, met with skepticism from Mary when he delivered the second announcement. “How shall this be? Seeing I know not a man?” said Mary. Gabriel explained the Invisible Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, would overshadow her and “that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” She would call His name Jesus. Mary accepted the angel’s words, affirmed her willingness to serve God and pondered the birth of Jesus.
As we read Luke’s account of these incredible events, you can imagine the full range of emotion that Mary was experiencing—and Joseph, her fiancé, as well. Mary demonstrates in this story of immaculate conception, that while she might have been the least-likely candidate for the mother God binds Himself to humanity through, He does it so that there can be no mistake that His hand is directing it. He makes the impossible possible — conception within a barren Elizabeth and a Virgin Mary.
God’s miracle birth announcements are only the beginning of an incredible story orchestrated by God and recorded by Luke. Early in this story, in the first two chapters in fact, we gain valuable insight into God’s plan. He would use those in the low places, the poor and invisible, to bring about his new world order.
Learn more about the unexpected intrigue surrounding Jesus’ birth when you watch the first installment of our five-part mini-series on the Book of Luke. Listen carefully in the last for 30 seconds for a little extra Christmas spirit.
The Bible Project