Please help us share God's truths and hope in Christ.

One of my favorite narratives of the birth of Jesus is often overlooked.  

We all know that angels told the shepherds of the miraculous birth of a child, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord, born in the city of David.

Luke 2:9-12  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

We know that the shepherds listened, heard, and responded in faith:

Luke 2:15-16  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

The shepherds were the first to see Jesus.  They beheld the baby in the manger and knew He was the promised deliverer God had sent to His people, Israel. But others also saw the newborn King.

Who Saw Jesus Next?

If you look at any Nativity scene, you would say it was the wise men, also called the magi or the three kings.  But that would not be correct.  Others saw the baby Jesus before the wise men came.

Chronology of the Wise Men’s Arrival

Tradition says that the wise men arrived 12 days after Jesus’ birth, and the church, historically, has celebrated their arrival on January 6th, calling it the Day of Epiphany.  But that dating is incorrect.  

Although the Bible does not say when the wise men arrived, it could not have been before Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem.  Why? Because of the offering they made.  {Read more: Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?]

Mary’s Offering in the Temple

By levitical law, women who had given birth were considered unclean due to the issue of blood during childbirth.  Because Mary gave birth to a male child, her period of uncleanness was seven days (Lev 12:2).  After the seven days, on the eighth day, a baby boy was circumcised (Lev 12:3). Then the mother would “continue in the blood of her purification” for another 33 days (Lev 12:4). After that time, a total of 40 days since the birth (7 + 33), the mother was to go to the Temple and make a burnt offering and a sin offering. (Note: the period of uncleanness in giving birth to a female child was 4 days plus 66 days— a total of 80 days. Lev 12:5) 

The Law required the offering for the mother’s purification to be a lamb for the burnt offering and a pigeon or turtledove for the sin offering.   The sin offering “removed” her uncleanness, and the burnt offering was an offering of thanksgiving for the child born. (Lev 12:6)

A provision was made for the poor…

Lev 12:8  And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

We know that Mary offered according to the provision for the poor. 

Luke 2:22 -24 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

Because Mary made the offering of the poor, we know that the wise men could not have already arrived.  If they had (as tradition suggests), Mary and Joseph would have had the three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and would have had enough money to purchase a lamb. 

Knowing that Mary and Joseph were devoutly faithful, it’s reasonable to believe that they would have purchased the more expensive lamb and not have offered according to the provision for the poor if the wise men had already given them the valuable gifts.  

This illustrates the correct timeline of events:

Joseph and Mary’s trip to the Temple in Jerusalem is a significant Christmas event.  One that should not be overlooked.

Simeon and Anna

In addition to the purification ceremony, there was also a dedication of the firstborn to the Lord.  (Exodus 13:12–15)  Babies born into the tribe of Levi were dedicated to lifetime service to the Lord.  The payment of five shekels redeemed those born into other tribes. Ir was payment to have a Levite take the child’s place in the direct service to the Lord.

The law made no requirement that the priests perform the dedication ceremony. Therefore, it is reasoned that the events recorded in Luke 2, involving Simeon and Anna, were a part of Jesus’ dedication–and according to the biblical narrative, the next people after the shepherds who saw Jesus!

Luke 2:28  he [Simeon] took Him up in his arms and blessed God….

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Read also: Why is Simeon Significant in the Nativity Narrative?   Why is Anna Significant in the Nativity Narrative? 

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Make Some Scripture Cookies – Fun for the Whole Family!

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Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists

At  Reasons for Hope* Jesus, we are committed to equipping, encouraging, and empowering Christians to know Jesus better, love Him more, and share their faith. We also reach the lost through our Salvation Page. 

With your support, we can continue to provide valuable resources and engaging content.  Please join us in our mission by donating today. Your generous contribution helps us expand our outreach of sharing biblical truths and hope in Jesus.  Thank you for your kindness and for being an integral part of our mission.

 donate
Reasons for Hope*Jesus is a 501c3 Ministry
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.

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***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.

The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2023 

  1. The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
  2. Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
  3. How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM in Psalm 22?
  4. How are the Shepherd’s ROD and STAFF Different?
  5. How long did JOB SUFFER?
  6. What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
  7. Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
  8. Jesus’ Last Days TIMELINE: the Cross and the Resurrection
  9. The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
  10. Did Jesus Fight Satan to Take Back the KEYS of Death and Hell?

There is much to be learned from those who have gone before us in the faith.  Check out our Cloud of Witnesses category that features the words of departed saints who are now with the Lord in glory.  Their words equip and encourage us even to this day.  Take a few minutes to hear...

  1. ONLY ONE LIFE, Twill Soon Be Past – by C.T. Studd (1860 – 1931)
  2. “The Love of God is Greater Far” by Frederick M. Lehman (1917)
  3. Prayers from Billy Graham
  4. Who Was Robert Robinson? What’s the Story Behind “Come Thou Fount”
  5. “Immanuel” — A Poem by Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
  6. Who Am I? A Poem by Deitrich Bonhoeffer (1905-1945)
  7. Understanding the Everlasting Arms of God, by J.R. Miller (1840–1912)
  8. 24 Reasons Why I Love America, by John Wayne (1907-1979)
  9. Give Me Perpetual Broken-heartedness (from The Valley of Vision)
  10. Abide with Me, by James Smith, 1859

This remains one of our most popular pages viewed.

Reasons for Hope* Jesus video banner

TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
  1. Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace 
  2. RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
  3. WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
  4. PAUL HARVEY: THE BIRDCAGE
  5. PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: A SOLDIER'S PLEDGE
  6. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas
  7. JOHN WAYNE ~ WHY I LOVE AMERICA
  8. Jimmy Stewart - Nativity Scene Prayer: Mr. Krueger's Christmas
  9. THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share 
  10. Not by Might, Not by Power, But BY MY SPIRIT says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)

*****************

*******

Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists

At  Reasons for Hope* Jesus, we are committed to equipping, encouraging, and empowering Christians to know Jesus better, love Him more, and share their faith. We also reach the lost through our Salvation Page. 

With your support, we can continue to provide valuable resources and engaging content.  Please join us in our mission by donating today. Your generous contribution helps us expand our outreach of sharing biblical truths and hope in Jesus.  Thank you for your kindness and for being an integral part of our mission.

 donate
Reasons for Hope*Jesus is a 501c3 Ministry
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.

*******
*******

***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.

The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2023 

  1. The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
  2. Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
  3. How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM in Psalm 22?
  4. How are the Shepherd’s ROD and STAFF Different?
  5. How long did JOB SUFFER?
  6. What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
  7. Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
  8. Jesus’ Last Days TIMELINE: the Cross and the Resurrection
  9. The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
  10. Did Jesus Fight Satan to Take Back the KEYS of Death and Hell?

There is much to be learned from those who have gone before us in the faith.  Check out our Cloud of Witnesses category that features the words of departed saints who are now with the Lord in glory.  Their words equip and encourage us even to this day.  Take a few minutes to hear...

  1. ONLY ONE LIFE, Twill Soon Be Past – by C.T. Studd (1860 – 1931)
  2. “The Love of God is Greater Far” by Frederick M. Lehman (1917)
  3. Prayers from Billy Graham
  4. Who Was Robert Robinson? What’s the Story Behind “Come Thou Fount”
  5. “Immanuel” — A Poem by Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
  6. Who Am I? A Poem by Deitrich Bonhoeffer (1905-1945)
  7. Understanding the Everlasting Arms of God, by J.R. Miller (1840–1912)
  8. 24 Reasons Why I Love America, by John Wayne (1907-1979)
  9. Give Me Perpetual Broken-heartedness (from The Valley of Vision)
  10. Abide with Me, by James Smith, 1859

This remains one of our most popular pages viewed.

Reasons for Hope* Jesus video banner

TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
  1. Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace 
  2. RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
  3. WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
  4. PAUL HARVEY: THE BIRDCAGE
  5. PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: A SOLDIER'S PLEDGE
  6. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas
  7. JOHN WAYNE ~ WHY I LOVE AMERICA
  8. Jimmy Stewart - Nativity Scene Prayer: Mr. Krueger's Christmas
  9. THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share 
  10. Not by Might, Not by Power, But BY MY SPIRIT says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)

*****************

Please help us share God's truths and hope in Christ.

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