FROM NAZARETH TO BETHLEHEM
JESUS CHRIST BORN IN BETHLEHEM?
Carlos Padilla, Christmas 2012
Other Christmas studies:
- THE MANGER -
JESUS OF NAZARETH
AND MYRRH -
WORD OF GOD
Bible tells, in the Gospels, that Jesus was born in Bethlehem according to the
prophecies about the Messiah. The facts are announced like this in Luke 2:11:
...For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is
Christ the Lord... However, many doubt of this historic event, I don't mean so
much of the fact, but of the place. The story about the birth of our Lord
told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke is a historical prophetical compilation
that merges in time with the external historical sources, at such a level that
makes of this event for humanity, one of the most important -together with the
resurrection, ascension and return of Christ- of all times.
To such extent that it makes this, one of the most
important events of all times for humanity - together with the resurrection,
ascension and return of Christ.
But for many non Christians, and Christians also, it is only
a tradition that they have learned, which is celebrated in these dates; and that
their traditional church tells them it is this way, as the most reliable source
for their minds, rather than the Bible itself.
This Christmas, when global society isn't precisely close
to Bethlehem in their hearts, and in which the media - antichrist in their majority
- using the ignorance of the average citizen in these matters of
vital importance, they insist in questioning the truth of the story of the birth
of the Saviour announced by the prophets, in the city of Bethlehem. But, is the
place of birth of the Messiah Jesus Christ really that important?
The biggest contrast with the poor and scarce data provided
by those who question the veracity of the Biblical story of the birth of the
Messiah in Bethlehem almost 2000 year ago, is that those stories that they
accept as true and unquestionable in human history, lack as much information
and such solid bases as the ones available in Biblical history; and this is
without taking into account their prophetic fulfilment, which the others lack.
For this reason, and based on the Texts of Matthew
Luke 1, I will expose the prophetic bases and the external sources that
that Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem of Judah, and the
reason for why it is so important for humanity, especially for those who believe in His
Salvation work on the Cross of Calvary at Jerusalem. Finally, let us see how the
ministry of Jesus is marked by these three cities: Bethlehem, Nazareth and
Jerusalem; where He was born, where He lived, and where He died and resurrected.
TWO WOMEN - TWO SOULS. ELIZABETH AND MARY
These two women, who are so relevant in the story of the birth
of the Messiah of humanity, we find them in the only two circumstances in which
a woman cannot be pregnant: virginity and sterility. However, it is in these
circumstances that these two women would conceive two men of God, who will
emanate even the presence of the Holy Spirit, which would make their mothers
feel this great joy of God.
As we will remember from the Texts, Luke 1:5-25, the wife of
Zechariah was advanced in years, and barren. Her husband, priest of the Lord,
became mute due to his unbelief when he offered the incense in the Temple, when
the angel of the Lord announced him that his wife would give birth to John the
Baptist, which occurred according to the prophecy.
In this same way, the betrothed to Joseph, was the virgin
chosen by God to conceive from the Holy Spirit His Son, the Saviour, Luke
1:26-38. In this case, she receives the visit of the angle Gabriel
to announce her conception. Also Joseph would receive the Word of God in dreams,
with regards to the miracle of the virginal conception of the only man with no
sin who has stepped on the earth, God made man, God with us, Emmanuel.
Spiritually, these two women are two souls, and two of
the experiences of every Christian. One is the virginity of the soul, in which
the Son of God is born through faith, when we are born again. Mary is all of us
who believe in Christ, the Church, every soul in particular, where Christ is
The other one is the elderhood, in the Spirit,
of a soul who is waiting for the promise which fulfils its ministry, and thinks that
is too late, not knowing that what it will receive will be greater that it could
imagine. This is John the Baptist, the mission of announcing the Gospel,
repentance, and to make a major impact in society, in his time, and with the
purpose of God.
These are Elisabeth and Mary, the souls of
Zechariah and Joseph, the souls of the new disciple and of the elder in the
faith. A priest and a member of the community of faith.
JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MATTHEW AND
ACCORDING TO LUKE
It is well known, and so I have been exposing
it in my writings, that Matthew wrote to the Jewish community, in Aramaic,
and/or Hebrew, even though he was at least bilingual, like any good well taught
Jew, and used to dealing with the roman and greek worlds. His Gospel has been
kept in Greek, but all evidence exists about the
"Hebrew Matthew", something
logical when the target is to prove to his nation that Yahshua was, indeed, the
On the other hand, and also well known and
exposed regularly in mi writings, Luke was a well taught medical doctor of
Gentile origin, who as well as writing the most complete Gospel for all nations,
also took care of the apostle Paul, and therefore his two letters: the Gospel
according to Luke, and Acts of the Apostles, both are dedicated to Theophilus,
as we can reed in the introduction of both.
For Matthew, Jesus fulfils a list of
requirements expected in the true Messiah: He would be born of a virgin. He
would be called "God with us". He would be born in Bethlehem because he would be
a descendant of David, and of Abraham, and called son of David. Children would
be martyrs at His coming. The greatest prophet of all would announce His
ministry and would introduce Him in public.
BIBLICAL TEXTS ABOUT THE PROPHECIES OF THE
...“Behold, the virgin shall
be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,” which is
translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 from Isaiah 7:14.
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. Matthew 2:6 from Micah 5:2.
...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. Matthew 2:18 from Jeremiah
31:15 about the slaughter of the martyr children of Jesus.
...Repent, for the kingdom of
heaven is at hand! ... The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the
way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight. Matthew 3:2-3 from Daniel 2:44 and Isaiah 40:3.
...And when eight days were
completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, which is
Yahshua. Yah is the root of the name of God, and Shua is Yah's Salvation.
Emmanuel "God with us" was Jesus Christ who was coming to the world. God's
Salvation amongst us, like the angel of the Lord had announced: Yah-Shua, Son of,
coming from Yah.Weh. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Baruj Haba BeShem Adonai.
And when the days of their
purification, according to the law of Moses, were completed, i.e.: forty days
later, they went from Bethlehem to the temple, to present their firstborn. In
the Temple they met Simeon, who was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and
the Holy Spirit was upon him. And the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he
would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Anointed One. Anna, the
prophetess was also there, who spoke of the child to all those who looked for
redemption in Jerusalem. Bethlehem is very close to Jerusalem, about 8 km,
therefore they could go to the Temple and back the same day.
The following event was
that the angel warned Joseph again to leave for Egypt in order to avoid Herod's
persecution, until his death. While they were in Egypt, the angel instructed
Joseph again to return, without going through Jerusalem, but returning to their
residence, Galilee, to Nazareth, because the prophecy says that the Messiah
would be in Galilee of the Gentiles, which is the land of Zebulun, next to the
land of Naphtali, and between them is Nazareth, thus He would be called a
Nazarene. The journey to Egypt fulfils another prophecy in Hosea 11:1.
We have so far read almost
all the Texts that bear witness of the Messiah, and that it was Jesus Christ, but,
what relevance does it have for us where Jesus Christ was born? All, and I shall
explain. If Jesus Christ would have not been born of a virgin woman, he would
have not been the promised Messiah, because prophecies so assure it. And Jesus
Christ was born of Mary, virgin, who was conceived from the Holy Spirit.
If Jesus Christ would have
been born in Nazareth, he could not be the promised Messiah, because prophecies
announced that the place of birth of the Messiah would be Bethlehem. But Jesus
Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, place of registration of His earthly
parents, because they where of the family of David, from the tribe of Judah,
fulfilling the edict of Caesar Augustus.
If Jesus Christ would have
not been of the descendants of David, he would not be the Messiah, because the
prophecy announced that He would be of the
descendants of David. Joseph and
Mary, both are of the descendants of David, as
it is assured by their genealogies, both
in the two Gospels of Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38. We know Jesus Christ as
the son of David.
If Jesus Christ would have
not had the greatest of all prophets announcing the repentance that would
precede His public ministry of salvation and preaching, it would not be the
salvation of God. But, yes, John the Baptist announced Him, until he decreased,
and Jesus increased attracting to himself all the souls of the Lord that were in
the land, they who were baptized in water, as a symbol of the washing of our
sins. But John announced that Jesus would baptize us in Holy Spirit and fire, as
it happens to all who receive the faith of Christ, until this day.
And if Jesus Christ would
not fulfil all these requirements He would have not been the Saviour, He would
have not been the Son of God, we would have no forgiveness of sins, we would not
resurrect, and He would not be the one that is to come to reign for eternity.
There would be no Messiah, and we would die in our sins, with no hope and with
no love of God. But God loves us and sent His Son to die in our place, in yours
and in mine, because the Law of God has 613 Commandments and Ordinances, which
no one can fulfil to perfection, and its unfulfilment brings death, which
affects everyone; but in Christ, in His coming, resurrection will be for
everyone; some will resurrect for eternal life, through faith in Jesus, and
others will resurrect to condemnation, for hating Him, or for insisting in
justifying themselves through their works and own merits.
Jesus Christ would fulfil
all the prophecies about the life of the Messiah, this is the reason why is it
so relevant to give argumentation and testimony, and precisely that is the
reason why His enemies, as much as contemporary, present and future, have always
tried and will try to confuse, lye and deviate the attention, denying the Truth,
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and Saviour. But Truth makes us free, and
Jesus himself is that Truth, the eternal Truth.
Religion is not a code of
conduct, but a personal relationship with God, through His Son Jesus Christ, who
lives, and who we know, and with whom we share our daily life. That is, amongst
all the prophetical fulfilments, the salvation work on the Cross of Calvary in
Jerusalem, the testimony of which, we, today, thousands of millions of souls
give faith, that the Holy Spirit lives in us, that we have been born again, that
we are new creatures, that we have changed, that we believe, and that in Him we
trust. This is the fruit of Jesus Christ until today. Jesus Christ is our
Saviour and our strength to live, who through His Spirit, has given us
the Mind of Christ. All these
things that make the Christian life is what we celebrate in Christmas, not only
to do good works in this season, but everyday of the year. Not only to give
testimony of Christ now, or to sing praise now, or to be with the family now,
but everyday of the year, until the perfect comes and the new eternal kingdom
manifests, the Kingdom of God.
This, is the very important
relevance that the fulfilment of the Biblical prophecies have. It is the plan of
God, that His written word, written by his prophets and apostles, would guide us
to the truth in our lives. The prophecies of the Bible are our map of the life
of the history of humanity. No other book is the Word of God,
read the Bible every day, while
THE HISTORICAL JESUS -
The information that we
know about Jesus Christ, both from Christian sources, as well as from non Christian, add
greater amount of information, than the one available about any other person of
the old history, and in spite of this He is the most attacked of all by His enemies.
We will start with the
"Classic" sources, through a Jewish historian, and his so called "Flavian
Testimony" from Flavius Josephus - a Pharisee Jew who ended serving Rome- in his
work "Jewish Antiquities" chapter 18, provides data regarding the life of Jesus,
and in other chapters, like in 20, writes about the history of the priests and
governors who appear in the Gospels.
Tacitus, in his work
"Annals" II century, was a roman historian, who wrote about the death of Christ,
and the Christians who were in Rome, when he tells about the kingdom of Nero.
Suetonius wrote "Life of the
Caesars", and also tells about the life of Nero and mentions the Christians.
Pliny, the younger, in the
service to Trajanus, mentions that Christ was treated like a God, in his
Lucian, in "Death of a
Pilgrim", satirizes about the person of Christ, but it is another valid historic
non Christian data.
On the other hand, we have
the Dead Sea Scrolls, that include a person called "Master of Justice" related
with Jesus, the Messiah. Some erudite relate him with Jesus, and other say that
it is a prophetical character who lived after Qumran, but could be Jesus. The
Scrolls where found intact in some caves by children who where playing, and
finally arrived in the erudite hands for their study, not only by Christians,
but also by Jews. Their validity and finding have been an amazing discovery.
But from all sources, those
that I would point out as of greater relevance -obviously, after the Gospels-
are the Jewish writings, precisely the historical works of the group of Jews
enemies of Christ. I refer to the Talmud, in its description of the crucifixion
of Christ, the evening of the Passover, in the treaty Sanhedrin, Sahn. 43.
Then we have the patristic
sources. The first Fathers of the Church of the first centuries, wrote the
historical data that they where inheriting from the first Christians, which is
another source of great relevance. The historical order, normally refers to the
epistles of Clement, the letters of Ignatius of Antioquia, Exposition of Papias,
and writings of Irenaeus of Lyon and Eusebius of Caesarea, between the I and II
And last, I would like to
make a personal remark about the authors of the Gospels. I mean that if we
obviate the fact that they where
Christians, we would have -in the case of Matthew and Luke- two well taught men
of relevance in their times. Matthew is a tax collector, a tax inspector, a
accountant, an economist, today we would also consider him a financial adviser,
what today could also be called any who has studies in finances and planning,
and fiscal advisor, financial planner. A man who would dominate several
languages, at least Hebrew and Aramaic, languages of those he would collect tax
from. Also Latin, the language of whom he was working for. And Greek, for as
well as writing his Gospel in Aramaic and Hebrew, he did it in Greek, the
equivalent of English language today, with regards to its international impact.
And Luke, a Gentile medical
doctor, another very well taught man, very detailed in providing data in his
narrative, well related -friend of Theophilus- and who would take care of the
Apostle Paul. A fiscal advisor and a doctor, contemporary of Jesus.
This is the prophetic
journey of Jesus, Yahshua, as a child. They left Nazareth for Bethlehem, where
He was born according to the prophecy, they went to the Temple in Jerusalem, as
established in the Law, then to Egypt to preserve His life, and they returned to
Nazareth where they would live and then went back to Jerusalem to die on the
Cross and resurrect, and where He will return in Mount Zion. The prophetic
journey starts in Christmas, in the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. It was
all written in the Bible, God's prophetic word.
All the enemies of Christ have always tried to
confuse and deny that He is the Messiah. If He was not the Messiah, Herod would
have not fallen so low as to command the killing of the children younger than
two years of age, don't you think?
The fact is, that at today's date, 2000 years
after that the second Person of the Trinity became flesh, He has thousands of
millions of followers of all nations, something that has the following
explanation: that He is still transforming lives today, that He is the Saviour
of the world, that, in fact He is the Son of God, and all that because He lives
and is seated at the right hand of the Throne of the Glory in the high places,
and next to us every day, until the end of the world. He is our Friend, He is
our Master, and He is our Lord. Do you know Him?. You only need to talk to Him
in prayer, and receive Him as Saviour, to tell Him that we accept His Covenant
of giving His life for our sins, that we believe in resurrection, in His and in
ours through His power. That we are waiting for Him, while we give testimony
preaching to others for salvation of the souls. That we make Him Lord of our
lives and that we love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our
mind and with all our strength, and our neighbour as ourselves, with the power
of His Spirit in us, that He gives us by His grace.
The fruit of the life that we celebrate in
Christmas, the one of our Lord Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem, provides us
with these benefits:
...For this cause
I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I
should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice...
...I have come
that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly...
...Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down
My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me,
but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to
take it again. This command I have received from My
Father. John 10.
Jesus said to him, “I
am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through
Me. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father,
and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever - the
Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor
knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will
not leave you orphans; I will come to you. But the Helper,
the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all
things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
...For by grace
you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it
is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest
anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ
Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in
them... Ephesians 2:8-10.
is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave
Himself a ransom for all. Paul's first letter to Timothy 2:5.
He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.
...In the beginning was the Word, and the Work was with God, and
the Word was God... ...And the Word became flesh and
dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only
begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1 and 14.
Jesus has done His part of the Covenant of God with us, dying on the Cross and
rising, to give us eternal live, clean from sin by His grace. Now it is for us
to answer His call on the Gospel, and to His Covenant. He who believes in the
work on the Cross of the Son of God and lives sharing God's love, keeping His
Word will enter the Paradise, the Lord's Kingdom: ...But as many as received
Him, to them He gave the right to become children of
God, to those who believe in His name... John 1:12. Because: ...For God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have
everlasting life... John 3:16.
...We wish you a Merry Christmas; we wish you a Merry
Christmas...! God loves us and has given us His best
present, His son Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem, died and resurrected in
Jerusalem. This Christmas make your own spiritual journey from Nazareth to
Bethlehem, in your heart. Hallelu-Yah!
- Merry Christmas! - Maranatha!, The Lord is coming.