Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Baby Jesus In Manger

Source(Google.com.pk)
Baby Jesus in manger Biography
After listening to many Christmas songs, presentations and stories about the birth of Christ, I am convinced that the church has come up with a third account on the birth of Jesus Christ. The other two accounts are found in the gospels of St. Luke and Matthew. Other books in the New Testament just allude or mention the birth of Christ implicitly in their records.
As we celebrate Christmas, we must understand the Bible ourselves so as to grasp the true account of Christ’s birth. In order to understand the birth of Christ in a better way, one must start by reading the account according to St. Luke (Luke 2:1-40), and then merge it with the account as in Matthew.
The account by St. Luke does not mention the wise men; it talks of the shepherds only (Luke 2:8-20). Immediately Christ was born in Bethlehem, when Joseph and Mary went for census, the shepherds on the nearby fields were alerted by an angel on the good tidings about the birth of a king in the town of David. They were to find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger (2:12, NIV). They narrated to Mary and Joseph about the things they were told about the child by the angels and they left.
Immediately after this visit, Christ is circumcised in the eighth day and named Jesus; the name given to him before he was conceived. After the circumcision, time passed and it came a time when according to the Law of Moses, Jesus had to be presented as the first born for consecration. Joseph and Mary took the child to Jerusalem, from Bethlehem where Simeon presented the child to the temple.
The account of Matthew picks from there (Matthew 2:1-23) and starts as “after Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of king Herod, magi (wise men) from the east came to Jerusalem…” (2:1, NIV). The wise men were led by a star and enquired from King Herod about the newly born king. In turn, Herod enquired from chief priests about the birth of Christ and was advised that he was to be born in Bethlehem. King Herod releases the wise men and requests them to come back after finding where Jesus was, so that he could go and worship him.
When they left, they were led by a star and “on coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary and they bowed down and worshipped him… (2:11a, NIV) and presented him with gifts they had carried.
In this case, although Herod send them to Bethlehem, it is not clear whether the star that reappeared to them led them to Bethlehem or some other place within Jerusalem. With the Luke account in mind, it was most likely that Jesus was still in Jerusalem, where he was presented to the temple by his parents, on their way to back to Nazareth.
Immediately the wise men left, Joseph was shown in a dream to take the child to Egypt. Time passed and Herod would realize that he was duped by the wise men when they never returned. Out of fury, he ordered all the children in Bethlehem and its surrounding from 2 years and below to be killed “…in accordance with the time he had learnt from the wise men” (2:16b, NIV). This is an indication that Herod ordered the murder approximately two years from the birth of Christ.
One clear thing in these accounts is that the wise men did not visit Christ, immediately he was born; they visited him after he was circumcised, consecrated to the lord and probably outside Bethlehem.
This is different from what I was taught in Sunday school, and what I usually teach my Sunday school kids where the birth of Christ is presented consistently without regard to time factor. Even the pictures on the birth of Christ in a manger are accompanied by the wise men and shepherds, Mary and Joseph all looking at baby Jesus. Although this way the story appears consistent and easier to understand for children, the storyline is doctored to avoid inconsistencies. Whoever decided to doctor the story, whether the church or theologians has created a third account of the birth of Christ and has succeeded in making the world believe it.
As we celebrate Christmas, let us read the Bible and grasp the truth. However, remember what matters is not which account is true or accurate, what matters is the understanding that Christ’s birth, calls for our love for one another. Christmas is a time to care and share what we have, show compassion, forgiveness and ensure we are ambassadors of peace, love and thus we will be united in the body of Christ. I wish all my readers Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2013.
Baby Jesus In Manger
Baby Jesus In Manger
Baby Jesus In Manger
Baby Jesus In Manger
Baby Jesus In Manger
Baby Jesus In Manger
Baby Jesus In Manger
Baby Jesus In Manger
Baby Jesus In Manger
Baby Jesus In Manger




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