Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem

Luke 2:1-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem
1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

From NetBible Lk 2:4

  • *Luke’s use of the term “house” probably alludes to the original promise made to David outlined in the Nathan oracle of 2 Sam 7:12-16, especially in light of earlier connections between Jesus and David made in Lk 1:32{The Son is promised the throne of David, permanently}. Further, the mention of Bethlehem reminds one of the promise of Mic 5:2, namely, that a great king would emerge from Bethlehem to rule over God’s people.=> God used this decree of a pagan emperor to fulfill the Mic 5:2 prophecy.

8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 

From NetBible Lk 2:11

  • * both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

  • Consider this sign
    a humble simple sign
    a sign to deny self …

Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done. -Lk 22:42

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. -Lk 9:23

13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

From Zondervan KJV Study Bible

  • This brief hymn is called the Gloria in Excelsis Deo from the first words. It is Latin for Glory to God in the Highest. The angels recognized the glory and majesty of God by giving Him praise.
  • In the highest => a reference to heaven where God dwells
  • Peace, good will => Peace is not assured to all, but only to those pleasing to God who receive it by faith(Ro 5:1)
  • The Davidic Messiah was called “Prince of Peace”(Is 9:6); Christ promised peace to His disciples(Jn 14:27). But Christ also brought a sword-conflict(Mt 10:34), for peace with God involves opposition to Satan and his work(Ja 4:4;1Jn 3:8).

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

From NetBible Lk 2:20

  • “Just as they had been told” notes a major theme of Luke 1-2 as he sought to reassure Theophilus: God does what he says he will do.