The word “Christ” comes from christos, a Greek word meaning “anointed.” It is equal to the word mashiach, or Messiah, in Hebrew. Jesus the Christ means Jesus is “the anointed one of God.” To be the anointed One of God, one would have distinct qualities unto oneself. It is only Jesus who possesses the many distinct qualities identifying our Savior, beginning with His virgin birth.
Jesus’ virgin birth took place two thousand years ago, as foretold over seven hundred years prior by the the prophet Isaiah. How very distinct–having a virgin as His mother and prophets foretelling His conception!
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
The virgin mother was a young woman named Mary. Mary, daughter of Eli (Heli), has her bloodline from the linage of king David through his son Nathan. Mary was known to have favor from God and believed no word from God ever fails!
Luke 1:26-28 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
What a surprise indeed, especially to young Mary, that an angel brought to her a message directly from God.
Luke 1:29-34 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
Mary was a young woman pledged in marriage to Joseph of Nazareth the carpenter. The Bible reveals how Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit, not by any normal physical act of Joseph.
Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
Now Joseph, known to be a man of integrity, originally decided to break his proposed marriage contract with Mary after he found out she was pregnant. That was until an angel of the Lord appeared to him, by way of a dream.
Matthew 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
So, because of this message given to Joseph from an angel, Joseph remained with Mary but did not consummate their marriage until after the holy birth. And as instructed by the angel they named the new baby, Jesus.
Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
At that particular time in history a census was decreed by Caesar Augustus. This census forced Joseph and Mary to travel from where they lived in Nazareth to Bethlehem, a journey of about 70 miles, while Mary was in her ninth month of pregnancy. Bethlehem was the city they were required to register in because Joseph, head of their house hold, belonged to the house David. Joseph was a descent through David’s son Solomon.
Home births, all those years ago, were the norm in Israel. But in order to register for the census Mary had to leave her home at a time close to her due date. Upon arriving in Bethlehem, no doubt at night time, and due to the increased population because of the census, no rooms at the inn were available for the expectant family. Thankfully, Mary and Joseph found a stable to use as their shelter for the night.
Mary and Joseph no doubt made this journey on foot, or perhaps on a donkey. The distance is at least three days long. The food and necessities they would have been able to carry would be very limited. They were no doubt tired, so the use of hay and a manger as the new born king’s crib was welcome.
All in God’s plan, Jesus lying in a manger after His birth was not an accident. It was the angel who told shepherds in a field where to find the new born Messiah.
Luke 2:10-12 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
After this announcement, a company of heavenly host appeared with the angel and praised God in song. The shepherds then visited the manger, spreading the word on what they were told by the angel.
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Sometime soon after, three Magi from the east came and worshiped Mary’s son. They followed the bright star in the night sky as it traveled ahead of them, until it stopped and hung directly above the house where the new family temporarily lived. The Magi presented gifts to Jesus.
Matthew 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Mary treasured all that happened and pondered it in her heart.
Glory To God In The Highest! All the earth is blessed that Jesus the Christ is born!