The Birth Of Baby Jesus May Not Have Been December 25th

At this time of year, many people ask us, was Jesus really born on December 25th.
 
“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2)
We will answer this question shortly.
 
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Yeshua because He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
The lights of Hanukkah has faded, and now most of the 2.1 billion Christians around the world will be celebrating the birth of the Light of the World Yeshua (Jesus).
 
JESUS AND JOHN THE BAPTIST WERE COUSINS
 
Mary and Elisabeth were cousins to each other, and they became pregnant about 6 months apart from each other. Mary from the Holy Ghost, and Elisabeth from her husband Zacharias. Mary would give birth to Jesus, and Elisabeth would give birth to John the Baptist. This would make Jesus and John first cousins once removed. “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:34-37 (KJV)
None of the early Believers (Jewish or Gentile Christians) celebrated His birth in the first century; it simply was not a part of the early Christian tradition, as far as we know.
 
JESUS WAS ONLY ONE OF MANY CHILDREN MARY WOULD HAVE
 
It is a fact that Mary, the young Jewish girl, was impregnated by God himself, and gave birth to baby Jesus while still being a virgin. The Bible declares this to be true in both Testaments. But what a lot of people, especially Catholics, gloss right over is that the Bible does not refer to Jesus as Mary’s “only child”, but rather as her “firstborn” child. The call someone a “firstborn” child is proof positive that other children from the same mother followed. “Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” Matthew 1:24,25 (KJV).
 
The gospel of Mark records that Mary would go on to give birth to at least 6 other children with Joseph, 4 of which are named in Mark 6. “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” Mark 6:3 (KJV). And Old Testament prophecy in Psalm 69 also records that Jesus had brothers and sisters. “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up, and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” Psalm 69:8,9 (KJV). Mary did not remain a virgin while she lived on Earth, and she most certainly is not the “perpetual virgin” found in Roman Catholic mythology. The Bible clearly calls Jesus and John cousins and it clearly shows us that Jesus also had brothers and sisters. It uses a different word for a cousin as it does for siblings.
 
But does that mean that None of the siblings nor the cousins had their birthday’s celebrated? None of them are mentioned in the Bible.
However, it is our responsibility to educate both Jews and non-Jews about the timing and the prophecies of the birth of the Messiah, and what better time to do it than during the time which many consider is His birthday.
 
THE SHEPHERDS AND THE WISE MEN
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” (Luke 2:8–12)
 
So, in the Bible, the shepherds were privy to the babe in the manger but the wise men from the east never went to the manger, by the time they got there Jesus was a “young child” and living in a house with his mother. “When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:9,11 (KJV). In order for Jesus to meet the wise men as a “young child”, he would probably have been at least two to three years old. Also, the wise men come to a house, not to a barn, stable or manger. You will further note that the wise men, who were sent to Jesus by God, never once paid the least bit of homage to Jesus’ mother, Mary. I find it interesting that the Catholic Church puts Mary into such a high and lofty position, yet we never see Mary treated this way in the Bible.
 
THE WISE MEN FROM THE EAST DIDN’T USE ASTROLOGY
 
Ask any Christian about how the wise men from the East knew how to find Jesus, and they will quickly tell you they were following Old Testament prophecy. Then ask them to show you exactly which prophecy that was, and you will likely not get an answer quickly, if at all. But the Star that guided the wise men is found in the book of Numbers. “He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” Numbers 24:16,17 (KJV).
 
They knew within a two year period when the child would be born because Daniel tells you when that would happen. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” Daniel 9:25 (KJV). The type of “star” that guided them is found in Revelation 1. “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:20 (KJV). The star led them right over to the house where the young child Jesus was living. “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Matthew 2:10 (KJV). The wise men didn’t need to use any astrology charts of any kind, as they were led personally there by the angels of God Himself.
 
THE GIFTS GIVEN TO JESUS REPRESENT HIS THREE OFFICES
 
Jesus was born to live as a prophet and die on the cross as a sacrifice. He returned to Heaven where He has been administering the office of High Priest intercessor for the Church Age, and He is coming again at the Second Coming as King of Kings. The wise men gave Jesus three gifts; myrrh, frankincense, and gold. The ‘bitter perfume’ of myrrh represented the death He would suffer as a prophet. It is given to Him at His birth, given to Him on the cross, and His body is wrapped in linen clothes containing “myrrh and aloes”. The frankincense was a crucial part of Temple worship dating back to the Law of Moses and is connected to the functions of the High Priest. The Song of Solomon, prophesying about Jesus, shows us again how myrrh and frankincense are connected to His ministry. “Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?” Song of Solomon 3:6 (KJV). The third gift, gold, is connected to the kingship of Jesus. “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation 3:18 (KJV).
Now one thing that’s interesting here is God uses a person to give Jesus gold, God doesn’t drop gold out of Heaven, He uses a person to supply Jesus with sustenance to live as He is a High Priest and worthy of pay for His labour!
During the days of his missionary endeavors, we find that the Apostle Paul refused to accept wages from those churches he planted. This was a voluntary act on his part so the skeptics and unbelievers could not accuse his preaching of the Gospel as a motive for monetary gain (1 Cor. 9:12,15,18). Paul apparently financed his missions trips by working his trade as a tentmaker (Acts 18:3), and from the contributions of other established churches (Phil. 4:14-16).
However, Paul taught that it was a long established scriptural principle that ministers of spiritual things are entitled and ordained to receive their living from their labor of ministry. He cited from the Levitical law (Lev. 2 & 7) how the priests were to eat from the meat which was brought to the altars as sacrifices to God. “Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:13-14).
 
The Apostle made quite a case of reason for the provision for Gospel ministers. He asks, “Whoever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?” (1 Cor. 9:7).
 
Elsewhere, Paul told Timothy that those church elders who excelled in leadership and ministry were entitled to “double honor,” a reference to both respect and fiscal reward. He quoted from Moses’ law (Deut. 25:4) which forbade the muzzling of oxen used in the harvest of the cornfields — that is, in the course of their labor they were entitled to eat of the corn. Paul used this as a case to further the idea that the person who labors well in spiritual matters should be rewarded accordingly. “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain, and, The laborer is worthy of his wages” (1 Tim. 5:17-18). ,
So the next time you say we need to follow Jesus’ example here it is plain and simple, this is how God works; through people and yes ministers are to be paid for they are worthy of wages for their work!
 
The Birth of the Messiah
Many questions remain as to when Yeshua was born. Was He really born in Bethlehem during the winter?
We suspect that the shepherds were watching over the sheep intended for sacrifice in the daily Temple ceremonies.
Jerusalem can be cold in late December, making it unlikely that the shepherds would have been able to graze their sheep at that time of the year, sleeping with them outside.
 
While the Bible does not specify the month, or for that matter the year of His birth, we do have some clues that lead us to determine the approximate timing.
 
Miryam (Mary) conceived when her cousin Elisheva (Elizabeth) was in her sixth month of pregnancy (Luke 1:24–26).
Elizabeth probably conceived early in the fifth month of the Jewish calendar (Av or early July). This is likely since the angel Gabriel appeared to her husband Zachariah while he was serving in the Temple as a priest in the division of Abijah (Luke 1:5), and advised him that Elizabeth would become pregnant (Luke 1:11–24).
 
The Talmud and other historical sources reveal that the Abijah served during the last two weeks of the fourth month of the Jewish calendar (Tammuz), which is about late June.
 
And the Bible says that after Zechariah came home from his service (in early Av), Elizabeth conceived (Luke 1:23–25).
Nine months of pregnancy and another six months of Mary’s pregnancy (15 months total) brings us to the seventh month of the Jewish calendar (Tishrei), during which falls Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).
 
The Apostle John tells us how Yeshua is the Word that tabernacled among us.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt [eskēnōsen] among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
The word that John uses in Greek for dwell and tabernacle share the same root word, skéné.
“But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles [skēnopēgia] was near …” (John 7:2)
Through these Biblical, historical, and linguistic clues, we can come to a fairly educated guess that Yeshua may have, indeed, been born during the Biblical Festival of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.
This is one of the three specified Holy Festivals (Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot) that God tells the Jews that they must observe in Jerusalem.
Sukkot occurs in late September or early October, depending on the year. We don’t know exactly the year Jesus was born but, He was born around the time of year that I was born realizing this blew my mind!
So, we also know that two of these Biblical Holy Festivals were fulfilled as He was crucified on Passover and that the promise of the Holy Spirit came on Shavuot (Pentecost).
 
When Did the Christmas Celebrations Begin?
Neither Yeshua’s Jewish disciples nor the Gentile followers in the first and second centuries celebrated the birth of Yeshua or anyone else’s birthday for that matter. Genesis 40 mentions Pharaoh’s birthday, and in Mark 6:21 mentions Herod on his birthday he gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee, but still Not a birthday celebration for any of these commanders or leading men themselves mentioned in the Bible, just for the king.
And there is no extra-Biblical evidence supporting the existence of this celebration in the writings of the early Church fathers for any of them, such as Irenaeus 130–200 AD or Tertullian 160–225 AD.
Actually, Origen of Alexandria 165–264 AD writes against following any pagan practices celebrated by the Romans. But is a birthday celebration just a pagan ritual, and is it only Roman?
So, it is fair to say that for the first 300 years after Yeshua’s birth, there was still no celebration of a Christmas or any of the Apostles birthday celebrations, those were left for the Pharaohs and the Kings as mentioned in the Bible.
 
NOW THERE WAS A GLOBAL TAX AT HIS BIRTH AND WILL BE AGAIN AT HIS RETURN
 
The not inspired version NIV calls it a census, the deadly RSV and the ASV call it an enrollment and the sneaky and deceptive NKJV calls it a registration. But the Holy Spirit-inspired King James Bible calls it exactly for what it was, a tax. “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) This timing nugget is important because it can historically be found! And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 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:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.” Luke 1:1-5 (KJV). Why is this important? Because a tax is not the same as a census or any of the others, it is a specific action where the government forces its citizens to give them money. When you remove this reference, you also wash away the very important prophetic links that are attached to it. Rome is a type of the government of Antichrist, anything coming out of Rome in the Bible is always evil, and this type picture of Antichrist’s government is exacting a global tax just prior to the birth of baby Jesus.
 
The book of Daniel tells us that one of the things that precede the Second Coming is a world ruler who institutes a global tax. “Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” Daniel 11:20,21 (KJV). And how will that global tax be enforced? By forcing people to take the Mark of the Beast, that’s how. “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 (KJV). So when Luke tells us about a global tax, he is giving us prophecy from both Testaments about Jesus’ first and second comings. It’s also an excellent example of rightly dividing the Scriptures.
 
JESUS WASN’T BORN ON THE 25TH OR IN DECEMBER
 
The Catholic Church chose December 25th because it was the pagan celebration of Saturnalia. Now we can debate if you like over whether or not Christmas is a pagan holiday or not, but there is no debate that Christmas, Christ’s Mass, is a Roman Catholic holiday. So in order to preserve their legacy, pagan Rome took over biblical Christianity and became papal Rome. This rule by papacy would last from approximately 350 AD to 1500 AD, a period of time we rightly refer to as the Dark Ages. So when was Jesus born? The Bible doesn’t say outright, but by comparing scripture with scripture, I would place my bet on the birth of Jesus taking place on the Feast of Tabernacles which happens on or around late September to early October.
 
SO WHY DO I SAY LET’S KEEP THE ‘SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS’ ABOUT THE BIRTH OF JESUS?
 
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
 
For most Christians, a spirit of joy and tenderness is triggered at this time of the year when they remember His birth.
Among some followers of Jesus, the holiday of Christmas is reviled, perhaps because of the commercialism, but also because they understand its pagan origins.
I’ll concede that Charles Spurgeon, a respected Baptist preacher, and theologian of the 19th century condemned Christmas as a pagan holiday.
Despite that, he understood that it was a good day to spend time with family (since there are too few times we can do so) and an excellent time to discuss the birth of the Messiah.
“Since the current of men’s thoughts is led this way just now, and I see no evil in the current itself, I shall launch the bark of our discourse upon that stream, and make use of the fact, which I shall neither justify nor condemn, by endeavoring to lead your thoughts in the same direction. … Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear son.” (Spurgeon’s Joy Born at Bethlehem sermon)
 
God can use you to share Yeshua and God’s love with others.
Often people are more open during the Christmas season and ready to hear the Good News.
There is a change in the air, the feeling that things are different, lighter and cheerier.
Some people, however, feel a heaviness, suffering from feelings of loneliness and depression, desperate for some good news of God’s love.
The birth of the Messiah to Miryam (Mary), a virgin, was miraculous as was the life that Yeshua lived!
 
So, like Charles Spurgeon, a respected Baptist preacher says; regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear son. And if you don’t on December 25th that’s fine, do it on my birthday! But it’s around the time of December 25th that some people NEED, and will receive the love of Jesus the most! And sharing the love of Jesus is not pagan, but it is what we’re commanded to do!
 
 
Nativity Scene
Nativity Scene
 
 
 

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