This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary and Joseph had promised to get married. But before they started to live together, it became clear that she was going to have a baby. She became pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Her husband Joseph was a godly man. He did not want to put her to shame in public. So he planned to divorce her quietly.
But as Joseph was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The angel said, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. The baby inside her is from the Holy Spirit.
She is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus. That is because he will save his people from their sins."
All of this took place to bring about what the Lord had said would happen. He had said through the prophet,
"The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel."#1(Isaiah 7:14)#2 The name Immanuel means "God with us."
Joseph woke up. He did what the angel of the Lord commanded him to do. He took Mary home as his wife.
But he did not make love to her until after she gave birth to a son. And Joseph gave him the name Jesus.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea. This happened while Herod was king of Judea. After Jesus' birth, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem.
They asked, "Where is the child who has been born to be king of the Jews? When we were in the east, we saw his star. Now we have come to worship him."
When King Herod heard about it, he was very upset. Everyone in Jerusalem was troubled too.
So Herod called together all the chief priests of the people. He also called the teachers of the law. He asked them where the Christ was going to be born.
"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied. "This is what the prophet has written. He said,
" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are certainly not the least important among the towns of Judah. A ruler will come out of you. He will be the shepherd of my people Israel.' " #1(Micah 5:2)#2
Then Herod called for the Wise Men secretly. He found out from them exactly when the star had appeared.
He sent them to Bethlehem. He said, "Go! Make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, bring me a report. Then I can go and worship him too."
After the Wise Men had listened to the king, they went on their way. The star they had seen when they were in the east went ahead of them. It finally stopped over the place where the child was.
When they saw the star, they were filled with joy.
The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, incense and myrrh.
But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road.