Story of Nativity
Gospel of Mathew and Luke give the narrative of birth of Jesus Christ. The narrative dates back to about 2000 years, when the great Roman empire ruled by Caesar Augustus and Israel was governed by King Herod. The extract from the Gospels as per New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is given below.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah* took place in this way. When his motherMary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was foundto be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous manand unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to himin a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary asyour wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will beara son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from theirsins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord throughthe prophet: ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’,which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angelof the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relationswith her until she had borne a son;* and he named him Jesus.
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world shouldbe registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius wasgovernor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph alsowent from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David calledBethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He wentto be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting achild. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. Andshe gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laidhim in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch overtheir flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the gloryof the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said tothem, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy forall the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who isthe Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a childwrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was withthe angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory toGod in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”.
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to oneanother, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place,which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary andJoseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made knownwhat had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed atwhat the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and ponderedthem in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for allthey had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise menfrom the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been bornking of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to payhim homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalemwith him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people,he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “InBethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you,Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers ofJudah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact timewhen the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go andsearch diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word sothat I may also go and pay him homage.”
When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went thestar that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where thechild was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed withjoy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and theyknelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, theyoffered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in adream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.