A Different Merry Christmas Story

Updated on December 23, 2019
gehill profile image

Gary has a Ph.D. from Bible University of Canada, ls a student of the Bible, and loves sharing that knowledge with others any time or way.

The Angel, Mary, and Joseph Introduction

Source

Gabriel, Mary, and Joseph - The Beginning

Welcome to a different story about the soon coming King whom we celebrate His birth this Christmas, His actual birth being sometime in the late September/early October timeframe, as I have published on several previous occasions.

It has been proven from historical records that Mary conceived “before they (she and Joseph) had relations.” Quite honestly Joseph’s initial reaction since he had not had sexual relations with Mary was to quietly divorce her since the custom of the day was even though they were not married yet, in the eyes of God they were since they were betrothed. Joseph in no way did not want to expose Mary to public ridicule.

Gabriel, in a vivid dream, told Joseph of her virginity and that the male child she was conceiving was the long-awaited Messiah, who would save Israel's people from their sins. Gabriel letting Joseph know that the Holy Spirit had originated the conception indicated to him, and to us thousands of years later, of the supernatural nature of the event we are celebrating.

Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherd's

The Conception, Birth, the Shepherds, and a Bonus Historical Note

Why was Jesus born of a virgin? One answer is to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14: "Behold the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

We know much of what we know from the former tax collector, turned New Testament writer, Matthew. We also know historically that Mary remained a virgin during and after the conception and even during the period of His birth. (Matthew 1.18-23)

Then there is this: (Luke 1:31-33) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 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 forever, and of his kingdom, there shall be no end.

In the mountainous lands outside of Bethlehem were shepherds in the field, assigned to keep watch over the lambs which were destined to be sacrificed during the time of the Passover. An angel of YaHVah appeared to them with the glory of the Lord shining around them lighting up the surrounding hills. They were filled with fear initially, as we would be as well. Here is the way Dr. Luke described the shepherds, angel, and the worship of the Baby:

(Luke 2:10-17) The angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the 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, goodwill among those with whom He is pleased!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child."

Luke's writing is so beautiful and descriptive of a person of his education. Matthew's writing is as well.

Bonus Historical Note:

Let me ask you a question? Did Jesus ever actually sit on David's throne during his earthly ministry? He couldn't have. It did not exist. Jeconiah was the last of David's line to sit on the throne as you may recall. (Remember, the blood curse on his line.) (Jeremiah 22:30) Herod, appointed by the Romans, was an Edomite ("Idumean"). He wasn't even Jewish.

Where is the Lord now? Jesus is sitting on His Father's Throne. When will the Lord sit on David's throne? Will the promise that Gabriel announced to Mary also be fulfilled? Yes, it will, and I believe it may be sooner than we think.

Migal Eder

Source

Where was the Messiah Really Born?

The residence where Jesus was born was called a Migdal Eder, a tall structure on the northside of Bethlehem where designated priests were “keeping watch over their flock.” We know of the tower from Micah, the Hebrew prophet who also told of the Messiah's birth in Bethlehem.

“And you, O Tower of the Flock (in Hebrew Migdal Eder), the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto you shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem” (Micah 4.8). Not just any flock or shepherds, but those who kept them were specifically educated for the royal task of watching them. These were the lambs that were to be sacrificed in the Temple. The shepherds knew exactly where to go as the Luke 2 passage indicates.

Hearing that Yeshua was born in Bethlehem would routinely trigger an image of the Lamb of YaHVah, who takes away the sins of the world going all the way back to the beginning with Adam in Genesis 3. Now it is easy to envision one of Luke’s listeners saying, “Certainly the Lamb of YaHVah would originate in Bethlehem; all the lambs for sacrifice come from here.” It would be so easy for them to envision this, but harder for us to see this imagery.

From the Torah, we know the twice-daily offering of a male lamb known as the timid meaning continual (Numbers 28.3). The lamb was offered up as the first and last offering of each day. Scripturally, it is the only sacrifice that strictly called for a male lamb without spot or blemish that could not be replaced.

It almost brings a tear to my eye to think that it is His birth we celebrate as our lamb without spot or blemish that went to the cross in our place. But for now, He is a little Baby being tended by His mother Mary.

They Were Amazed

Source

The Shepherds Were Amazed!

After seeing the newborn Messiah that would forgive the sins of the world the shepherds went out and spread the word of the birth where ever they went being the first to do so. They were amazed or ethaumasan. This attitude sharply contrasting with the religious leaders of the time who did not take the time or effort to confirm the birth for themselves even though the arrival of the Messiah was predicted in the Scriptures. (Matthew 2.5)

Amazement at the proclamation of His birth is the theme of amazement throughout the Book of Luke (Greek Έκπληξη or “to be amazed or to be astonished”) The theme occurs in Luke 1.21, 1.63, 2:18, 2:33, 4:22, 8.25, 9:43, 11:14, 11:38, 20:26 24:12. As you can see Luke used the theme liberally.

There were two other Greek words for amazement used by Luke (see Luke 2:48). Think about it. Of all of the women in Israel at the time, Mary was chosen as the mother of the Messiah! The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God, as did the angels (see Luke 2:13-14).

What are we are doing some two thousand years later? I would hope you and your family are as amazed as the shepherds were when they first saw the newborn Baby. We cannot serve two masters. Make sure it is Jesus Christ you are worshiping this Christmas and not the allure of commercialism which is a sticky idol...

Mary and Joseph Circumcise the Baby

Source

Mary and Joseph’s Offering and Presentation of Jesus to the Lord (Luke 2.22-38)

After this, Mary and Joseph, as was the custom, carried out the announcement of the newborn per Gabriel who had come to her before Baby’s conception (Luke 1:31) and to Joseph after the conception (Matthew 1:18-21). The name was given to them was Jesus, quite fitting because the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua means “Yahweh is Salvation” (cf. Matthew 1.21).

As was the Jewish custom of the day Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day this perhaps in Bethlehem. (Leviticus 12.3) They also offered their newborn to God some 33 days later as well (Exodus 13.2, 12), and brought the offering for Mary’s purification after the miraculous childbirth (Leviticus 12.1-8).

They were showing with their offering that they were a poor couple who could not afford to buy a newborn lamb. So, they brought a pair of doves or pigeons which was all they could afford. They traveled from Bethlehem to Jerusalem for the presentation and purification at the Temple.

The Prophecies Concerning Jesus

The Prophecies of Simeon and Anna

Simeon’s Blessing and Prophecy of the Family

Simeon was a devout (Greek Αφοσιωμένος or dikaios, devoted, staunch, ευσεβής, pious, godly) man led by the Holy Spirit who had a word from God that he would not die till he had seen the Messiah. Unlike the other religious leaders of Israel, he was waiting with anticipation that the Messiah was the One who would bring redemption to the nation. (Luke 2: 34-35) Simeon noted that the Messiah was the source of salvation not only for the nation of Israel and Jewish people but for the Gentile people of the world as well. Luke mentions this many times in the Gospel of Luke.

Mary and Joseph marveled at the scope of the prophecy even to Gentles. Simeon revealed to them both that Jesus would be opposed and that Mary would be hurt greatly. In some translations, it says “her grief would be like a sword piercing her soul” (Luke 2.25-35). Her son would cause the fall and rise of many in Israel. Jesus taught during His ministry that the only way to the kingdom was to follow Him. The ones who did receive salvation would “rise” and the one who did not believe Him would not receive salvation would “fall.” Simeon told her these consequences would reveal what people thought about her Son.

Anna the Prophetess (Luke 2:36-38)

This Godly woman from the prophetic tradition continued the work Simeon had begun. Anna was 84 years young at the time. She had devoted her entire life to the Lord’s service in the Temple since her husband’s death years before. She announced to all who were around that the redemption of Jerusalem was at hand (cf. Luke 2.25) and the nation’s Messiah had come. The word about Jesus was likely being spread throughout the entire city as people either believed or disbelieved the words of the old prophet and the widow prophetess, much like today also.

To end our discussion, Mary and Joseph returned to Bethlehem with Jesus which was a trek on foot of some 65 miles north of Jerusalem where Jesus grew up. I will briefly note here that Luke omitted the historical time in Egypt from his account (re. Matthew 2.13-21) since it was not his purpose to show the early rejection of the Messiah. You will recall He was first rejected in Nazareth after Jesus publicly declared that He was the Messiah. The preparation for His ministry took place in that town as He continued to grow up. Another story for another time. God’s blessing and Merry Christmas!

My Thoughts

Source

Merry Christmas

This is an entirely new way of looking at Christmas. To get this published I had to do it this way. I hope you and your family have a great Christmas and New Year.

As Christians today we tend to fight the ongoing secularization of the holidays. Some have rejected anything to do with them. Some say they are not Biblically ordained. The Lord's Supper is the only exception in the New Testament and doesn't really ordain another Christian holiday. But it does not prohibit it either, and as my former teacher, the late Dr. Chuck Missler, says, "under grace Christians are free to honor different days if they wish."

Those families who want to keep Christ as the center of Christmas may find it easier to do so by studying the various symbols used to celebrate Christ's birth through the ages and use them in retaining the uniqueness inherent in the mystery of the incarnation: the birth of the Son of God.

This Christmas, remember the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh presented by the Magi. (Matthew 2:11) These prophetic gifts celebrated his deity, priesthood, and death. However, when He returns to establish His kingdom, He will be presented only with gold and frankincense. (Isaiah 60:6) There will be no myrrh, which represents death: His death is now two thousand years behind Him.

Let's make this season a real celebration. What are you giving Him this Christmas? Is there something in your life He would like to see you part with? Perhaps your heart?

Does This Article Cover Something New on The Christmas Story?

Something New on the Christmas Story?

See results

Chuck Missler - The Christmas Story

© 2019 Gary E Hill

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Chaven Maven 

      9 months ago

      Thanks for the article. We have nothing here like this. God bless and Merry Christmas to you and your clan. Chaven

    • profile image

      Alan Divonovich 

      9 months ago

      Great writing and story. We do not dare celebrate Christmas openly here. But we do privately. Merry Christ Mas Alan D.

    • profile image

      Regina Galiatian 

      9 months ago

      I love the story and the new information from Bible I have overlooked for years. Thank You and Merry Christmas, Regina and Hal

    • profile image

      Morton Deldish 

      9 months ago

      Greetings from the Alps. Love the story. Mort

    • profile image

      David Bercot 

      9 months ago

      One of the best articles I have read here. Write more. David

    • gehill profile imageAUTHOR

      Gary E Hill 

      9 months ago from Moving to Kings Mountian, NC

      To Morton and Arne - Seems I am amassing a following in the Netherlands, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Thank you for your comments and God's blessings, Gary

    • profile image

      Morton Larentius 

      9 months ago

      Thnk you for Christmas story. Enjoyed reading. M. Larentius

    • profile image

      Arne Swegenzine 

      9 months ago

      Hello from Norway - Love the history and story. Write more. Arne

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)