There is so much tradition that surrounds the birth of Jesus that will not hold up to an examination from Scripture. What follows is simply what the Scripture reveals.
His Preincarnate Existence:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is the ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Old Testament Prophecies:

Mark 1:1,2 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets . . .. 

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
(God to Satan)

Genesis 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.            (God to Abraham)

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Daniel 9:20-27 (Messiah will come in 490 years!)

There are at least 40 prophecies in the Old Testament concerning certain aspects of the Messiah (Hebrew)/ Christ (Greek), the Anointed One of God.
The Old Testament tells of a divine-human Person, clothed in our human nature as seed of woman, yet everlasting Ruler. When He came to His own, the Jews, they misunderstood the Scriptures and were looking for an earthly king to deliver them from the Romans and to make them great among the peoples of the earth. Messiah, or Christ of the Old Testament and Jesus of Nazareth are one and the same. Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of all of the Messianic prophecies. His divine-human Person (two natures in one Person), the place and manner of His birth, His teaching, His miracles, His suffering, His death, His burial, and resurrection, the redemption which He accomplished, and the nature of the kingdom He established are all in perfect harmony.
The Forerunner, John the Baptist, was predicted. Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; 4:5

Jesus confirmed that John the Baptist was the “Elijah” to come.Matthew 17:9-13
Luke 1:26-38 The annunciation to Mary in Nazareth; Gabriel is the same angel who spoke to Daniel; Mary is a virgin; an espousal could only be broken by divorce.

Matthew 1:18-25 Joseph is reassurred; they had not had sex; Joseph is perplexed and had three choices; (stone her for adultery-public example; divorce her-put her away privately; honor the betrothal)
Luke 1:39-56 Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth; John leaps in the womb at the Name; Mary is a sinner and needs a Saviour too.

Genealogies: Matthew 1:1-17 gives Jesus’ legal right to the throne of David, through the lineage of Joseph. An adopted son had all the rights of a son. Luke 3:23-38 is the human lineage to the throne of David through Mary.

The Jews never challenged Jesus’ right to David’s throne, i.e. as the Son of David.

Luke 2:1-40 Joseph and Mary must go to Bethlehem where the Christ is to be born; Caesar Augustus decreed a census tax (to fulfill God’s purpose); no room at the inn, so a feed trough (manger) will do; shepherds see the glory of God and hear the angels, and come the same night and leave immediately. At 8 days, He is circumcised and named Jesus, they are still in Bethlehem; then 33 days later, for Mary’s purification, and to present the firstborn, they go to the temple in Jerusalem. This is before the magi bring gifts because they offer turtledoves, the poorest offering allowed. Immediately after Simeon and Anna they return to Nazareth. (Exodus 13:2,12,15; Leviticus 12:1-4)
Matthew 2:1-18  The Wise Men come to Herod. How many? More than one, perhaps three since three gifts are mentioned. They were not "kings,” but magi (astrologers). Herod was afraid of a new king, so he finds out where the Christ was to be born, and diligently inquires of the time. The Wise Men start out for Bethlehem, and BEHOLD (amazement), the star leads them to the house where the young child (not infant) was, now back at Joseph’s house in Nazareth. They worship Jesus and immediately leave. Joseph and Mary flee to Egypt. When Herod realizes he has been tricked, he commands that all the male children from two years old and under be killed. Why two years? It took the Wise Men two years to get to Jerusalem. Jesus was nearly two years old before the Wise Men found Him in a house in Nazareth, not a babe in a manger.
Jim Gunn
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