The birth of Jesus: the history and the mystery.

Luke 1:1-5; 2:1-20; Mat 1:1,17, 21-23; 2:1-6; Isa 7:14; Mic 5:2.

SPEC-86-221218 - length: 50:43 - taught on Dec, 18 2022

Class Outline:

John Farley
Pastor Teacher
December 18, 2022

Merry Christmas!

The birth of Jesus: the history, and the mystery


The birth of Jesus Christ is a matter of history, and mystery.

Luke was a historian, after all, but he was also a marvelous storyteller.

LUK 1:1-5

His genealogy,
His birth narrative, and the fulfillment of prophecy.

Luke’s genealogy of Christ appears in Luk 3: 23-38.

He works backwards from Jesus all the way back to Adam. He includes 64 names.

Matthew was every bit as meticulous as Luke.

MAT 1:1

Matthew traces the family tree of Jesus back to Abraham - 42 generations.

MAT 1:17

Second, the gospel accounts of the birth provide specific historic information.

This material is confirmed by the writings of secular historians.

  • Plutarch (AD 46-127)
  • Suetonius (AD 71-135)
  • Tacitus (AD 56-120)
  • Josephus (AD 37- 100)

LUK 1:5

Luke tells us who was the king of Judea at the time: Herod the Great.

LUK 2:1-7

We know who the emperor of Rome was at that time: Caesar Augustus.

We know that Jesus was born when Augustus decreed that a census be taken.

The third category is the fulfillment of prophecy.

The prophet Isaiah lived about 700 years before the birth of Christ.

ISA 7:14
Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

MAT 1:21-23

MIC 5:2
MAT 2:1-6

Jesus was born sometime between late 5 BC and early 4 BC - probably in December of 5 BC or January of 4 BC.

But the birth is Jesus isn’t simply a matter of history. It is also a great mystery.

LUK 2:8-20