Insight into the Nativity – Part 1

Some of the content for this lesson comes from the Study by Pastor Rick Renner entitled Christmas – The Rest of the Story.


We want to look at the Word of God so that we can understand the Nativity Scene and why things were the way they were.

Luke 2:1-20 KJV And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (2) (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) (3) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. (4) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) (5) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (6) And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. (7) And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (8) And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (9) And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. (10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, (14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. (16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. (17) And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. (18) And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. (19) But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. (20) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Why did the circumstances have to be like they were surrounding the Birth of Christ?

The circumstances surrounding the Birth of Christ are very important simply because they all are fulfillment of what the Lord had been saying for centuries.

Why did Jesus have to born in Bethlehem?

Micah 5:2 NKJV (2) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”

It was also said that Jesus would be of the offspring of King David and Bethlehem is where David was born, and God chose for Jesus to be born there as well.

Note that for Jesus to sit on the throne He would have to be human but for Him to reign forever, He would have to be Divine.

Both Mary and Joseph were of the lineage of David.

Jeremiah 23:5 NKJV (5) “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

God took advantage of the census that was required in order to get Joseph and Mary back to Bethlehem.

We know the story how the angel appeared to Mary to tell her about the Birth of Jesus.

Mary was betrothed to Joseph and during that day betrothal was much more serious than our engagement in that the only way to get out of that commitment was to be caught in a relationship outside of the betrothed relationship.

Mary said be it unto me. The Word of God will not work for you until you make it your own. She could have never experienced the miraculous birth of Christ unless she made the Word her own.

The character of Joseph came out that even before the angel appeared to him, he was not going to embarrass her publicly, but he thought about how he could put her away privately.

Did Mary ride a donkey when they came into Bethlehem?

Luke 2:4-6 NKJV (4) Joseph 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, (5) to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. (6) So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.

When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, she was great with child. Because of this, Joseph probably did not make her walk.

She probably did ride in on a donkey into Bethlehem. They did not have a lot of money at this time and the donkey was the cheapest form of transportation of the day.

We do see that their wealth began to grow because when the wise men came and visited them in their house. Jesus was not raised in abject poverty.

Matthew 2:11 NKJV (11) And 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.

Did Mary give birth to Jesus the same night that they arrived in Bethlehem?

Luke 2:6 NKJV (6) So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.

Mary had the baby after they had been in Bethlehem for a few days.

Did the innkeeper tell them that there was no room for them in the inn?

Luke 2:7 NKJV (7) And 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.

It was actually probably a blessing that there was no room for them in the inn because in that day, inns were very dangerous places where you could be robbed of your belongings, etc.

God opened a supernatural door that afforded Mary and Joseph privacy in the birth of Christ.

Was Jesus actually born in a stable?

Luke 2:7 NKJV (7) And 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.

Notice the scripture says that Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.

It is possible that the animals were kept in a cave behind or near the house versus a traditional stable as we know today. It could also have been a shed.

In that day, a manger was a feeding trough usually hewn out of rock and the height of it was dependent on the type of animals that would be feeding from it.

Swaddling clothes were strips of cloth that they would wrap the baby in very tightly to keep it warm and feeling secure.

Isn’t it interesting that when Jesus was born, he was wrapped in strips of cloth and laid in a stone manger in a cave and that is also the way that He was buried when He died for all mankind.

Another reason that Jesus was not born in the inn was because it was the plan of God that the shepherds come and find Jesus and they might not have been able to do this at an inn.

Were angels present at the place where Jesus was born?

The answer is yes, but they were not in manifestation there. They appeared to the shepherds in the fields.

Luke 2:8-9 NKJV (8) Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. (9) And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

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

Why did the angels appear to the shepherds and then they came to visit the Baby in the manger? And why did the Magi come later and visit Jesus after He was older?

Jesus did not come to be a King first, He came to be a Shepherd first and to lead us into everlasting life.

Was Jesus born on December 25th?

The answer is no, He was not.

Luke 2:8 NKJV (8) Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

In December in Bethlehem, it can get quite cold.

Winters in Israel and particularly Bethlehem can be very cold average highs being 33° – 55°.

Were the shepherds supernaturally led to the place of Jesus’ birth?

Luke 2:11-12 NKJV (11) For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (12) And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:15-16 NKJV (15) So 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.” (16) And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

The shepherds found the place where Jesus was because they knew where all of the mangers would have been because they were shepherds.

The wise men were supernaturally led to the manger because they were not from there but the shepherds were from there.

Did the wise men come at Jesus birth?

Luke 2:12 NKJV (12) And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

Babe (v12) – (Greek – brephos) unborn child or a newborn child.

Matthew 2:1-18

Young Child (Matthew 2:8) (Greek: paidion) a little child, not a newborn

Matthew 2:11 NKJV (11) And 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.

Wise men or Magi travelled in large caravans of sometimes 50 to 75 people so there were more than just three of them.

The Magi brought to Him treasures of gold, frankincense and myrrh; gold because that was the treasury of royalty, frankincense because He was going to be the sweet-smelling savor in God’s nostrils to hide the stench of our sin, and myrrh because that is one of the spices used in burial. He was going to have to die for us.

Why was Jesus born at all?

Luke 2:10-11 NKJV (10) Then 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. (11) For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV (6) For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus was born as a gift for all mankind but you must still receive Him personally.

Jesus came to bring peace for us individually first and then later will bring peace to the earth.

Luke 2:14 AMP (14) Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor].

Luke 2:14 WNT (14) “Glory be to God in the highest Heavens, And on earth peace among men who please Him!”

  1. God’s plan for my life individually is no less important to God than His supreme plan of Redemption that caused Jesus to be born into the earth.
  2. If God’s ultimate plan of Redemption required the cooperation of Heaven and man, then so must His plan for my life. It is not automatic.

1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV (9) For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

2 Corinthians 6:1 KJV (1) We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

2 Corinthians 6:1 AMP (1) LABORING TOGETHER [as God’s fellow workers] with Him then, we beg of you not to receive the grace of God in vain [that merciful kindness by which God exerts His holy influence on souls and turns them to Christ, keeping and strengthening them–do not receive it to no purpose].

  1. Faith is required for God’s plan to come to pass.
  2. The promise was not conceived when the Word was heard. Conception took place when she took ownership of the Word and made it hers.

Luke 1:38 KJV (38) And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Saying, “Be it unto me according to thy Word” is the key to releasing the supernatural power of God into our lives to accomplish the purpose and will of God.