The Christmas Story

Merry Christmas 2022!!

Previously, we’ve discussed how Matthew and Luke’s birth narratives of Jesus go together:

Sequence of Birth Events

In those articles, we presented the following order of birth events:

  1. Jesus’ Divine Ancestry – John 1:1-3
  2. John the Baptist’s Birth Foretold; John is Conceived – Luke 1:5-25
  3. Jesus’ Birth Foretold to Mary; Jesus is Conceived – Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:26-38
  4. Unborn Jesus and John Are “Introduced” – Luke 1:39-56
  5. John the Baptist is Born – Luke 1:57-80
  6. Jesus’ Birth Foretold to Joseph – Matt. 1:19-25
  7. Joseph and Mary Journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem – Luke 2:1-5
  8. Jesus’ Birth – Luke 2:6-20
  9. Jesus’ Circumcision and Naming – Matt. 1:25; Luke 2:21
  10. Jesus Presented to the Lord in Jerusalem – Luke 2:22-39
  11. Wise Men Seek Jesus – Matt. 2:1-12
  12. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus Flee to Egypt – Matt. 2:13-15
  13. Herod Slaughters the Infants – Matt. 2:16-18
  14. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus Return to Nazareth of Galilee – Matt. 2:19-23; Luke 2:39

People appearing (in general order of their first appearance)

  1. Jesus as Creator God
  2. Zechariah
  3. Elizabeth
  4. Gabriel, the Angel
  5. Mary
  6. Joseph
  7. John the Baptist (outside the womb)
  8. unnamed angel
  9. Innkeeper (assumed)
  10. Jesus (as infant)
  11. Shepherds
  12. Angel/Angels (appearing to shepherds)
  13. Simeon
  14. Anna
  15. Herod the King
  16. Wise men from the East
  17. chief priests and scribes
  18. Archelaus

God’s Own Words

Below you will find direct words from the NKJV Bible describing all these events. Where different gospels overlap each other, I have combined them as 1 flowing narrative.

Jesus’ Divine Ancestry – John 1:1-3

John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

John the Baptist’s Birth Foretold; John is Conceived – Luke 1:5-25

1:5There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

1:8So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

1:13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

1:18And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”

1:19And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

1:21And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.1:23So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25”Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

Jesus’ Birth Foretold to Mary; Jesus is Conceived – Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:26-38

Luke 1:26Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

1:29But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

1:34Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

1:35And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37For with God nothing will be impossible.”

1:38Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Matt. 1:18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Unborn Jesus and John Are “Introduced” – Luke 1:39-56

Luke 1:39Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

1:46And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

47And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

48For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;

For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.

49For He who is mighty has done great things for me,

And holy is His name.

50And His mercy is on those who fear Him

From generation to generation.

51He has shown strength with His arm;

He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

52He has put down the mighty from their thrones,

And exalted the lowly.

53He has filled the hungry with good things,

And the rich He has sent away empty.

54He has helped His servant Israel,

In remembrance of His mercy,

55As He spoke to our fathers,

To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

56And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.

John the Baptist is Born – Luke 1:57-80

Luke 1:57Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. 58When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.

1:59So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. 60His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.”

1:61But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called.

1:63And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.” So they all marveled. 64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. 65Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him.

1:67Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

1:68”Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,

For He has visited and redeemed His people,

69And has raised up a horn of salvation for us

In the house of His servant David,

70As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,

Who have been since the world began,

71That we should be saved from our enemies

And from the hand of all who hate us,

72To perform the mercy promised to our fathers

And to remember His holy covenant,

73The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:

74To grant us that we,

Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

Might serve Him without fear,

75In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

76”And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;

For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,

77To give knowledge of salvation to His people

By the remission of their sins,

78Through the tender mercy of our God,

With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;

79To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,

To guide our feet into the way of peace.”1:80So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Jesus’ Birth Foretold to Joseph – Matt. 1:19-25

Matt. 1:19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

1:22So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23”Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

1:24Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25aand did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.

Joseph and Mary Journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem – Luke 2:1-5

Luke 2:1And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

2:4Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 

Jesus’ Birth – Luke 2:6-20

Luke 2:6So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

2:8Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

2:13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

2:14”Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

2:15So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Jesus’ Circumcision and Naming – Matt. 1:25; Luke 2:21

Luke 2:21And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus–Matt. 1:25bHe (Joseph) called His name Jesus–the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

Jesus Presented to the Lord in Jerusalem – Luke 2:22-39

Luke 2:22Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

2:25And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

2:29”Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,

According to Your word;

30For my eyes have seen Your salvation

31Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,

32A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,

And the glory of Your people Israel.”

2:33And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

2:36Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39aSo they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord.

Wise Men Seek Jesus – Matt. 2:1-12

Matt. 2:1Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

2:3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

2:5So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

2:6’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;

For out of you shall come a Ruler

Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ “

2:7Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

2:9When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

2:12Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus Flee to Egypt – Matt. 2:13-15

Matt. 2:13Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”

2:14When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

Herod Slaughters the Infants – Matt. 2:16-18

Matt. 2:16Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:

2:18”A voice was heard in Ramah,

Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,

Rachel weeping for her children,

Refusing to be comforted,

Because they are no more.”

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus Return to Nazareth of Galilee – Matt. 2:19-23; Luke 2:39

Matt. 2:19Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.

2:22But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee, so Luke 2:39bthey returned to Galilee. 23And he came to, and dwelt in, a city–their own city–called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s