The Birth of Jesus

The birth of Jesus, foreshadowed by the law and the prophets, was about to become history’s turning point. Could this birth—an innocent, helpless baby in a manger—be the climax of mankind’s millennia of wandering and turmoil?

Some Old Testament writings can leave us mystified. Why did God inflict a catastrophic flood on the earth? Why were the Jewish people, his “chosen,” enslaved in Egypt and later taken into captivity in Babylon?

God had one overriding purpose in this extended period of darkness. A particular key unlocked these seeming mysteries for me: God was at work, carefully safeguarding the Seed. You may recall this term, the Seed, appearing early in the Genesis account. That Seed was Jesus. God was fulfilling his promise. Nothing, neither bloodshed nor war nor wandering nor disobedience nor betrayal would prevent the Seed from achieving God’s intended purpose.

His timing was perfect. Circumstances lend credence to why this was a unique period in history. The world was at relative peace. Rome had developed an extensive road system. Greek, an international language, enabled people to communicate cross-culturally.

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, therefore the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

(Luke 1:35)

Jesus’ Ultimate Calling

Jesus was conceived in the womb of a young virgin named Mary. Though engaged to a man named Joseph, the two had remained chaste. Luke, a physician and rigorous historian, describes the angelic announcement of this miraculous event.

Jesus’ parentage was that of both God and a woman. He was as much of God as could be put into human form. His earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, nurtured and educated their young son. He learned carpentry from Joseph and the two worked together. Can you imagine the exquisite workmanship of the tables, chairs and other furniture they crafted?

Jesus’ ultimate calling began at age 30, the point at which men were eligible to become rabbis (teachers). God’s affirmation rang out at Jesus’ baptism.

Joined by twelve companions, Jesus pressed forward into an intense three-year period of ministry. The impact would change history. We can be grateful that diligent followers recorded these events. The resulting gospels and letters are the timeless treasure entrusted to us—the New Testament.