My friends, sorry for the delay in posting the rest of this series. I hope you’re enjoying exploring Scripture for more nuggets and details surrounding our Savior’s birth. I love how Abba’s Word comes alive as we do this. Did you discover new things as you read Luke chapters one and two?
What I noticed first as I read is that Luke, a gentile, tells the story more from Mary’s perspective. Makes me wonder if Joseph was still in the picture (these recordings were done after Christ’s death, as much as 30 years after, I believe). One commentary I read a while back suggested the possibility that Joseph may have died at some point as he’s not present at all after Jesus’ temporary disappearance at age 12 when he stayed behind in Jerusalem to be in his Father’s house.
Both Zechariah and Mary have encounters with the angel Gabriel—Zechariah regarding his son John’s conception and birth (Luke 1:11-22), and Mary being chosen to bare the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38). And don’t you just love what Gabriel says in verse 37? Powerful!
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”
There are four specific mentions of the Holy Spirit being active at this point (pre-resurrection). The first when Gabriel tells Zechariah he will soon have a son, who will be “filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15). The second when Mary visits Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s voice, John leaps in Elizabeth’s womb and she is filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:39-45). The third comes at John’s birth when Zechariah’s voice is restored and prophesies over his son (Luke 1:67).
I want to interject here and say I wonder if Luke, being a physician, was being a tad ironic in verse 62 when the make signs to Zechariah about John’s name. The man was made mute, not deaf! Yet how often does that actually happen?
Okay, back to the Holy Spirit. The next mention of His presence comes in chapter two when Jesus is presented at the temple. Here we meet Simeon, who seemed to have many interactions with the Holy Spirit. I love that God heard this man’s dream to see the Messiah and grants it before his death (Luke 2:25-32). Simeon wasn’t a prophet but he did prophesy over Jesus. Then we meet Anna who is a prophetess and continues to give thanks and speak about the child (Luke 2:36-38).
Did you noticed there were not Magi mentioned in Luke’s account? And one of my favorite parts is when the angels appear to the shepherds—not to the kings and rulers of this time. To the shepherds who almost seem to be a prophetic symbol or resemblance to the humility and status that Jesus came into this world and continued to walk in it. And He would be called our great Shepherd too!
Now as a mom, I found two areas very tender and intriguing. First in Luke 2:19 and 51 where it says that Mary “treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Can you imagine? Those two mentions of her holding these truths about her son—the Son of God—in her heart, always stop me as I read. She’d spent nine months carrying this child and now she held the Son of God in her arms, kissed his brow, fed Him, changed His diaper…
And now she speaks prophetic words of what He would mean to a nation. Reading it or even knowing about it is one thing, but to be living it out is entirely different. Mary was a strong presence in Jesus’ life all the way to the cross.
And then we jump to Jesus at about age 12 when He is clearly aware of who and what He is (Luke 2:41-52). Did He always know? Or what point did He become aware of who He really was? Did Gabriel visit Him too? (Okay, that’s me being a little humorous—I’m sure Jesus could hear His Father just fine without the help of an angel.)
Seriously though, these are the things that get my brain moving and wondering what they thought, felt and perceived. Absolutely mind blowing when you think about it. I can’t wait to get to heaven and talk to all those involved!
So, my friends, this concludes our exploration of the birth of Christ. What parts stood out to you? Resonated with your heart in some way? Left you wanting to know more? Just listen the song below for awe inspiring thoughts! Wow, Mary kissed the face of God…
And finally, here is my Christmas gift for you. Using the NIV translation, I’ve taken parts from the books of Matthew, Luke and John to compile a chronological account of Jesus’ birth. Click to download The Birth of Jesus. Enjoy!
Love you all so much! Merry Christmas!
Image credit: yupiramos / 123RF Stock Photo