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I remember well planning for my wedding. The weeks and months leading up to it were filled with scheduling, organizing, and preparations for the event. Soon the big day arrived, and 6 hours later, the food was consumed, the music stopped, and the people went home. I barely remembered much of that day because it all happened so fast. I think of that time because wedding preparations remind me, to some degree, of the celebratory event of the birth of Jesus. Within hours after the birth, the celebration quickly settled down, and life for a young couple and baby boy began.
Immediately after the birth of Jesus, God sent the angels into the nearby fields to tell the good news to the shepherds. “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels left them and went into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” “So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart and the Shepherds returned to their sheep.” (Luke 2:13-19).
“On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived” Luke 2:21 The name ‘Jesus,’ means to deliver, save or rescue which defined His mission on earth.
Around 40 days after Mary gave birth, she and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, to present him to the Lord. “When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him. (Luke 2:39,40).
Mary and Joseph lived with Jesus in Nazareth until around the age of 2, when the wise men came to visit with their gifts. They inquired of Herod as to the where-a-bouts of Jesus. He did not know but wanted Jesus found and killed because Jesus was a threat to his rule. Through a dream, Joseph and Mary were instructed to take Jesus to Egypt to avoid Herod’s threat to kill all baby boys five years and under. They returned to Nazareth after the death of Herod.
The next time Jesus is referenced in the scripture is when, at age 12, he went to Jerusalem at the Feast of the Passover. We all know the story of the time when he stayed behind in the temple hanging out with the teachers without his parents knowing where he was. It was an indication that Jesus was brilliant and his understanding of the scriptures way beyond his years. “And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:47).
The mystery and majesty of the birth of our Lord and Savior are like no other event in the history of the world. It fulfilled all the prophecies in the Bible about Jesus’ coming to the world as one of us. The celebration of the thousands of angels praising and worshiping God and no doubt the presence of God the Father and Holy Spirit added to this magnificent event.
Scripture tells us very little about his childhood. Might it be that the reason that God sent His Son into the world was not to focus so much on His birth, but rather to prepare for Jesus’ death and resurrection?
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)