Timing the Birth of Jesus of Nazareth
Timing the Birth of Jesus of Nazareth

    Ok, so the point is to bring glory to Christ in celebration of His birth. This is what some express about their desire to take part in the holiday known as "Christmas" that takes place on December 25th of each year. It is an admirable thing to bring glory to Christ Jesus. I personally do rejoice in the birth of the Messiah and do so all year long...(that is not an exaggeration). What I mean to share is that each time I read the accounts of the coming of Christ into the world, the Spirit of God within me causes my spirit to rejoice at this awesome mystery of God. Why then, December the 25th? Was this the time of Jesus's birth?

    To truly bring honor to the Lord Jesus we ought to do so in a Biblically based manner, as opposed to man-made inventions. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, men acting on their own (if not out of the Spirit) can create problems by imposing something not ordained by God on others. If we would worship Jesus, let's do so realistically, spiritually and in truth! Let us do so accurately. So let's look at when Christ was born into the world based on the Scriptures, and putting our heads together, see what we can see.

1.    Thank God for His teachers that have brought to light that the Bible does contain information about the timing of the Birth of the Lord Jesus. I was so surprised when one pointed out to me one day these verses from Luke chapter one that give a big lead for us to follow. Speaking of Zacharias the husband of Elizabeth the future mother of John the Baptist we read;

Luke 1:5
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, 9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

2.    Then we read that the angel Gabriel brought news to the childless Zacharias that God would give him a son who would walk in the power of the Spirit of God- John the Baptist. But TWICE in these verses above we are pointed to the fact that the priest Zacharias, was serving in his specific "course" or "tour of duty" in his priestly duties. His time period of service was called the "course of Abia". Moving along quickly, we see that the timing of Elizabeth's pregnancy is based on this time reference. The Word specifically states that at the conclusion of Zacharias' priestly duties...

Luke 1:23
And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

3.    The understand is clear that Elizabeth became pregnant immediately after Zacharias returned home from his priestly duties. Elizabeth hid herself for five months. In the sixth month of her pregnancy The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with the announcement that she, a virgin, would bear the son of God. How incredible! And in telling Mary these things he also told her of Elizabeth's condition;

Luke 1:36
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

4.    Making a long story short Mary packed her bags and went immediately (verse 39) to be with Elizabeth. This greeting awaited her there;

Luke 1:42
And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

5.    It should be established to us by this that Mary was at this time, pregnant with the yet unborn Lord Jesus [1] -- and staggered six-months back from Elizabeth's pregnancy. Based on normal 9 to 9-1/2 month pregnancies, we can know that the Lord Jesus Christ was born nine months from this time, or looking at it from another direction, 6 to 6-1/2 months after the birth of John. If we together can determine from the information about Zacharias's "course of Abia", at what time of year Elizabeth became pregnant, we can know the actual season that Christ Jesus was born into the world. And if a specific time of year should be given-- that Christ may be glorified for coming into the world, then that would be the proper time.

Shalom and joy in the Holy Ghost,

References: -----------------------------------------------
[1] To confirm Mary was pregnant at the time she greeted Elizabeth we can understand the blessing Elizabeth spoke at that greeting of the "fruit of thy womb" that already existed at that moment.
A second confirmation is the words of Mary's reply to Elizabeth;

Luke 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

Continue to Part 2


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 Web Author:Michael Stevenson Updated: 12/16/2004 7:18PM