Bible Stories for Adults
Jesus Is Born
Welcome and Announcements
Next Week - The Presentation of Jesus (Luke 2:21-38)
What Year Was Jesus Born? (Luke 2:1-2)
In 525 AD, Pope John I asked Dionysius (a Scythian monk) to prepare a calendar
Saw Jesus' birthday as December 25, 753 AUC (anno urbis conditae)
When does Luke say that Jesus was born?
Dionysius selected January 1, 754 AUC to be January 1, 1 AD (anno domini)
What does Matthew add that helps narrow down the date?
Matthew 2:1 (Luke 1:5)
What other timemark does Luke give to narrow the date?
What event best nails down the precise date of Jesus' birth?
Historical records show that a census was taken every 14 years, One was known in 6AD
Counting back leads to 8BC
Herod disfavored by Augustus in 8-7BC, executed 2 sons in 7BC, serious health problems
Historians believe Palestine census would have been pushed to 6-4BC
Other details further narrow to late 5BC or early 4BC, some say 6BC
What Day Was Jesus Born? (Galatians 4:4)
First known mention of December 25 is by Hippolytus (165-235AD)
Confirmed as correct by Chrysostom (345-407AD) in 386AD
Some feel winter date is wrong because sheep were typically penned up November - March
Others don't see conflict because:
Could have been a mild winter, shepherds would have been outside with sheep
Not for certain that sheep were brought under cover during winter
Sheep were brought in from wilderness during winter, around Bethlehem fits
Only 6 miles south of Jerusalem, Bethlehem shepherds raised sheep for sacrifices
Sheep were in fields at least 30 days before Passover (as early as February)
What is the importance of when Jesus was born?
The Census (Luke 2:1-3)
Rome law: Whoever has property in another city must deliver his tax declaration in that city.
In Palestine, many had ownership in property of "patriarchal houses"
What resulted in Palestine from this part of the Roman census law?
Romans surveyed & valued property, registered & verified owners, taxed accordingly
Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-5)
Who specifically was affected by this need to travel to be registered?
What did Joseph being of the line of David have to do with going to Bethlehem?
1 Samuel 17:12
Who went with Joseph to be officially registered as property owner?
Ruth 1:22; 4:13, 17
Why was it an important part of God's eternal plan that Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem?
Why does Micah refer to the town as Bethlehem Ephrathah?
Why was it important that Mary was only pledged to be married and not married to Joseph?
The Birth (Luke 2:6-7)
After getting the pregnant mother of His Son to Bethlehem, what does God bring about?
What royal and special treatment did God's only Son receive upon birth?
Did this change after Jesus was revealed as the Messiah?
Why was this important?
2 Corinthians 8:9
Khan (caravansary) - Square, single-story building with open, unfurnished recesses
Traveler brought his own carpet, food, water; Paid little for shelter
Swaddling cloths - Strips of cloth wrapped around a baby like a mummy
Leewans (recesses) provided on first-come, first-served basis
Late-comers could stay with animals penned in back of khan, often in caves
Intended to straighten body from fetal position & keeps arms & legs from flailing
How widely were swaddling cloths used?
The First to Hear (Luke 2:8)
What important people did God select to first learn about the Messiah's birth?
Had God ever shown His grace to anyone like these before?
1 Samuel 16:11-12
What other group of people did God call to see the newborn Messiah?
What point does God's selection make?
The Glory of the Lord (Luke 2:9)
How was the shepherd's normally quiet and boring night interrupted?
How had God revealed His glory in the past?
How long had it been since the glory of the Lord had been revealed?
Ezekiel 10:4, 18-19; 11:22-23
Besides being startled, why were the shepherds afraid of what they saw?
The Message (Luke 2:10-14)
After calming the shepherds, who did the angel say he had a message for?
What was this great news?
What names did the angel give Jesus that defined who He was?
John 1:41, 45
How would the shepherds know they weren't just hallucinating from the sheep smells?
How were all of the other angels in heaven able to hold themselves back at this great time?
The Sign (Luke 2:15-16)
Did the shepherds stay with the sheep and try to figure out what they had seen?
Was it surprising that the shepherds were able to find the baby they were seeking?
The First Evangelists (Luke 2:17-20)
After seeing Jesus, did the shepherds remember their sheep and go back to them?
How did Peter later explain why those who have received Jesus must spread the news?
How was this strange message from the shepherds received?
After running throughout Bethlehem, did the shepherds finally go check on their sheep?
The shepherds give us the following sequence on responding to God's gospel (good news):
Heard, Believed, Obeyed, Received, Testified, Rejoiced, Praised
Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen
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