Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)
Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown
1 — “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem.”
2 — “saying, ‘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.'”
3 — “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”
4 — “And 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.”
5 — “So they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet.'”
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.'”
7 — “Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.”
8 — “And 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.'”
9 — “When 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.”
10 — “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”
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.”
12 — “Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.”
13 — “Now 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.'”
14 — “When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,”
15 — “and 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.'”
16 — “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and he went 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.”
17 — “Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,”
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.'”
19 — “Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,”
20 — “saying, ‘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.'”
21 — “Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.”
22 — “But 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.”
23 — “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.'”
80 — “So the child grew and became strong in spirit and was in the deserts ’til the day of his manifestation to Israel.”
40 — “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.”
41 — “His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.”
42 — “And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.”
43 — “When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it,”
44 — “but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acuaintances.”
45 — “So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.”
46 — “Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.”
47 — “And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.”
48 — “So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.'”
49 — “And He said to them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?'”
50 — “But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.”
51 — “Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.”
52 — “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown
So, Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and favor with both God and men. As we can see, things began to happen rather quickly in Baby Jesus’ life, but some happened not as quickly as most have touted. For example, most believe the wise men from Parthia visited twelve days after His birth (which is celebrated as Epiphany on January 6). At this time, the Parthian Maji are believed to have paid their respects via gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. According to Joseph Holleman (2019), ‘The journey from Parthia, in Babylon, to Jerusalem is approximately 500 miles. By caravan, with no major detours or disruption, this trek would have probably taken 50 to 60 days. Maybe less.” Thus, the earliest the wise men could have visited Jesus was mid-February, by modern-day calendar.
As we see in Luke 2:22, after the days of Mary’s purification according to the law of Moses, they took Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. Now, according to the Law of Moses as seen in Leviticus 2:1-4 (below), Mary and Joseph would not have left Bethlehem for Jerusalem for a minimum of forty-one days after Jesus’ birth. This says the Wise Men — or the Three Kings — could not have seen Jesus until after Mary’s purification.
When King Herod of Judea heard about the Parthian Maji who were searching for the one who had been born to rule over Judea, he requested an audience with them at his palace in Jerusalem. There, he told them he, too, wanted to worship the Young King, and he asked them to inform him of the Young King’s location. The Maji agreed to grant King Herod’s request. When they had left the palace, an angel of the Lord came to them in a dream and informed them of King Herod’s plot to kill the Young King. Thus, when they left Bethlehem, a different route was taken back to Parthia.
The angel of the Lord then appeared to Joseph in a dream, informed him of King Herod’s plan to kill Baby Jesus, and instructed him to take Mary and the Babe to Egypt where they would be safe. Joseph obeyed the angel. He arose and, in the night, took Mary and Baby Jesus away to Egypt.
When King Herod realized the Maji had evaded him, he decreed that all male children two and under in and around Bethlehem be killed. His stipulation of the age, ‘two and under’ indicates that Baby Jesus was more than a few days old. Herod had questioned the Maji extensively about their revelation of “the newborn king.” So, this indicates that the Child was probably between one and two years of age.
After King Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared again to Joseph in a dream and informed him it was now safe to return to Israel. When they arrived in Israel, Joseph learned Herod’s son was now ruler. This made Joseph fear for Jesus’ life. The angel appeared to him again in a dream to tell him to go to Nazareth in Galilee; thus “fulfilling the prophecy that Jesus would be called a Nazarene.”
Furthermore, if we look again at Leviticus 2:6-8 (below), we see that when Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to present Baby Jesus to the Lord in the tabernacle, to atone for Mary’s impurity they were to present a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a young turtledove as a sin offering. If they could not afford the lamb, the Law of Moses allowed for them to present two young pigeons or two young turtledoves–one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. The fact that Mary and Joseph met the latter requirement indicates they were quite poor. If the Maji had already been to pay homage to Baby Jesus, they would not have been poor. The gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh would have rendered them able to present a lamb and a bird instead of two birds.
Joseph Holleman elaborated a bit on the probable date of Christ’s birth. (Holleman is CEO of Magister Technologies Inc., and Author of “The Prosperity Clock” book series.) In all likelihood, December 25 was not the date of Christ’s birth. Since we do not know, with certainty, the actual date of His birth. this date has been set aside to remember the glorious event. Below, I have included some of Holleman’s elaboration on the subject.
“The goal of the Maji was to pay homage to the infant Jesus just after the time of an extremely rare astronomical configuration, which only they were aware of, that reached its peak on March 2 of 5 B.C. right around the time that Jesus was likely born. This was also likely around the time that they began their journey,” (Holleman, 2019).
“The Parthian Maji likely arrived at the place where Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus were staying around the time of the Summer Solstice, June 21, when the Sun or the ‘Star’ was directly overhead. Jesus was likely born in late February or early March of 5 B.C.; so, he would have been around 3 or 4 months old when they arrived,” (Holleman, 2019).
Each year, Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When Jesus was twelve, they had made a day’s journey back toward home before they realized that the Young Boy was not with them. They had thought He was with a relative or friend who might have had a boy near His age. Upon realization that He was missing, they went back to Jerusalem looking for Him. Three days later they found Him in the temple both asking questions of and giving answers to the teachers who were astonished at His knowledge and understanding. When Mary reproached Jesus regarding the anxiety she and Joseph had suffered, Jesus responded, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49, NKJV). They did not understand that He meant He must be about God the Father’s business, but Mary held all these things close to her heart–we are told.
Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with both God and men. Thus, He must have been a very obedient teen who listened to His elders when they spoke.
1 — “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,”
2 — “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days, as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean.'”
3 — “‘And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.'”
4 — “‘She shall then continue in the blood of her purification during thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled.'”
5 — “‘But, if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her customary impurity, and shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty-six days.'”
6 — “‘When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting.'”
7 — “‘Then he shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement for her. And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female.'”
8 — “‘And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons–one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So, the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'”
Next week, we will look at John’s ministry as trailblazer for Jesus and His ministry.
Abbott, Shari. (5 January 2020). “Did the Wise Men Arrive 12 Days After Jesus Birth? Or Was it Much Later?” Reasons for Hope–Jesus. (4 April 2020). https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/did-the-wise-men-arrive-12-days-after-jesus-birth-or-much-later/.
Holleman, Joseph. (7 August 2019). “How long did it take the 3 wise men to find Jesus?” Quora. http://www.quora.com. (12 April 2020). https://www.quora.com/How-long-did-it-take-the-3-wise-men-to-find-Jesus.
Week One -- Scripture: Zacharias to have Son . . . Week Two -- Scripture: Jesus' Birth Foretold . . . Week Three -- Scripture: Zacharias' son, John, is born . . . Week Four -- Scripture: Jesus is Born . . . Week Five -- Scripture: And Jesus Grew . . .