Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Christmas Story

I know this is the day after, but as I was gone, it has been delayed. But we can never read the story too much right? Everyone needs a refresher, and I've loved going through a few of the Old Testament prophecies. Although it may seem lengthy, it'll be worth it. Hope you enjoy!
(This is the New Living Translation)

Numbers 24:17  "I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel…"
Isaiah 7:14 "…Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us')."
Isaiah 9:2,6 "The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Micah 5:2 "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf."

Hundreds of years later:
Matthew 1:18- 24 "Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people form their sins." All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet: "Look! The Virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means 'God is with us'" When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

Luke 2:1-40 "At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David's ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time cam for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. 'Don't be afraid!' he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.' Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-the armies of heaven-praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those whom God is pleased.' When the angels had returned to eave, the shepherds said to each other, 'Let's g to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Eight days later:
Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, h was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived. Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law o Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him o Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. The law of the Lord say, 'If a woman's first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord.' So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord-'either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeon.' At that time there as a man in Jerusalem name Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come n rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him an had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord's Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was thee. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, 'Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is the light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!'  Jesus' parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby's mother, 'This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts  many hears will be revealed. An a sword will pierce your very soul.'
Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel fro he tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then he lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and payer. She came long just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. When Jesus' parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law f the Lord they returned home to Nazereth in Galilee. There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God's favor was on him.

About two years after Jesus' birth:
Matthew 2:1-15  "Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and have come to worship him.' King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, 'Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?'
'In Bethlehem in Judea,' they said, 'for this is what the prophet wrote: 'And you O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not the least among the ruling cities in Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.' '
 Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, 'God to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!' After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! The entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod."
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. 'Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,' the angel said. 'Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.' That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod's death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet; 'I called my Son out of Egypt.'"

To read the rest you can get a Bible and look up Mathew 2:16-23

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