Here are seven questions about the birth of Christ with which you might be able to quiz your family or friends.
What Time of the Year Was He Born?
Church tradition and many Bible scholars agree that Jesus was born in the autumn of the year. Shepherds are not out in the fields that time of year (Luke 2:8) because in December it is often very cold and rainy, but in the fall the shepherds often were and still are out in the fields in Israel during that time of the year.
What Year Was He Born?
We date our calendars according to Jesus’ birth, but the fact is that He was likely not born on the year zero but somewhere between 7 and 2 B.C.
Where Did the Wise Men Visit Jesus?
It was not actually in the stable in Bethlehem where the wise men or the Magi visited Jesus but in His parents’ house, for it was when they “saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him” (Matt. 2:10-11).
Did the Wise Men Visit Jesus as a Baby or a Young Child?
Was Jesus an infant when the wise men came to bring gifts to honor and worship Him? The sign given to the shepherds were that they would find Jesus (Luke 2:12) as a babe in a manger. The Greek word for babe is “brephos,” which is the same word for “an unborn child, an embryo, and a new-born child or infant.” But when the wise men came to visit Jesus (Matt. 2:11), He was already a “young child” (Greek “paidion”), which means “a young child” or “a little boy” and clearly not an infant (“brephos”).
What Was the Meaning Behind the Name Jesus?
Jesus Christ’s name has special meaning because His name literally means what He is and what He does. His name in the Greek is “Iēsous” and means “Jehovah is salvation,” which is exactly what His name in the Hebrew (“Yeshua”) means. Christ is not His last name either but is a title, which is “Christos” in the Greek and means “anointed” and Messiah in the Old Testament Hebrew. The history of this word always indicates a kingship or coronation of a king, so Jesus’ name means “Jehovah the anointed King by God Who is salvation” because He is God, He is salvation, and He is King.
Were There Only Three Wise Men?
It would seem highly unlikely that there were only three wise men. We assume this fact because they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But three gifts doesn’t mean only three wise men came. If these men brought such valuable gifts, they most certainly had a great number of guards and support staff that accompanied them.
What Was the Meaning of the Three Different Gifts From the Wise Men?
These three gifts–the gold, frankincense, and myrrh–have special meaning. Gold is associated with God because all the vessels in the Holy of Holies were made of gold. It also befits divinity and is a gift generally given to a King. It is also a precious metal, and Jesus is most precious. Frankincense is made from a valuable tree resin and then made into incense. This incense was burned in the Tabernacle, which was pleasing to God, as Jesus’ life was pleasing to God (2 Cor. 2:15) and wholly acceptable to the Father. Finally, the myrrh was a spice that was obtained from a tree resin and used in embalming and may have represented Jesus’ coming burial, but myrrh is also symbolic of bitterness, suffering, and affliction, which Christ endured at Calvary.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
Image source: CC Keith Williamson
Modifications: text added. cropped, overlay
Republished by Blog Post Promoter