Christmas


Nazareth to Bethlehem

Nazareth to Bethlehem

Luke 2:4 indicates that Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem in order to participate in a census. What kind of trip would that have entailed? Nazareth is located in the hills along the northern edge of the Jezreel Valley. In the days of Jesus it was a small, back-water village. Archaeologists estimate it had a population of not more than 200 people, meaning Mary would have known everyone in town. It was located near a fresh-water spring that in later days became known as the place where the annunciation was......


No Room in the Inn?

No Room in the Inn?

As the KJV renders it, Jesus was laid in a manger “because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). Was Joseph turned away by some hard-hearted inn-keeper who had run out of rooms? A closer look at the context reveals a different story. The word rendered “inn” by some versions is the Greek word kataluma (Gk. κατάλυμα). This word does not refer to an inn, hotel, or motel, i.e. sleeping quarters up for rent. There were such establishments in those days, but they were referred to by a......


Advent of the Messiah

Advent of the Messiah

Christmas is traditionally a celebration of the first coming of Jesus the Messiah, when he came  as a baby in Bethlehem. This coming was to deal with our sin, and it led to the the Messiah’s death on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. It is good, however, not to ignore the promise of his second coming. The second coming of the Messiah will be very different than the first. It will not be to deal with sin (Heb 9:28), but to rule the world in righteousness. This second......


Born in Bethlehem

Born in Bethlehem

Jesus fulfilled many prophecies during his lifetime, and some have accused him of doing so in order to try and appear as the Messiah even when he was not. However, several of the prophecies he fulfilled were fulfilled at his birth, something he could not have manipulated were he not the true Messiah. These include his lineage (a descendant of David, 2 Sam 7:12-16), the time of his birth (prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70, Dan 9:26), and the place of his birth (in Bethlehem, Micah......