For many hundreds of years the Jewish people had been promised a Messiah, a Savior. This person was to be a descendant of Abraham and of King David.
The Virgin Mary
A young girl named Mary lived in the city of Nazareth of Galilee which is near Jerusalem, Israel. Mary was a virgin and was engaged to be married to Joseph. Joseph and Mary were Jews of the line of Abraham and King David. Their genealogy is traced back to the first man, Adam. (Matthew 1:1-17)
A miracle occurred when the angel Gabriel was sent from God to the Virgin Mary and told her the Holy Ghost would come upon her and she would conceive in her womb and bring forth a child who would be the Son of God and that he should be named Jesus. This was miraculous because she became pregnant without having a sexual relationship. Mary did not have sexual relations with Gabriel or the Holy Spirit. God supernaturally placed the seed in her womb. After nine months Jesus was born, which was a supernatural work of God. God is the Father of Jesus and Mary was the earthly mother of Jesus.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, near Jerusalem. The birth of Jesus is the most important event in the history of all the world. [His birth ended the B.C. or “Before Christ” period of history and began the A.D. Anno Domini, “the year of our Lord”. The direction of history was changed and calendar dates refer to His birth. The year of 2012 means 2012 years AD Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord.” Every time we write a date on a piece of paper we are acknowledging His birth and existence. Centuries of time have passed since the birth of Jesus; however Christmas still commemorates the birth of Jesus. Christmas is the most celebrated day of the year for many people.]
On the night Jesus was born while shepherds on the Judean hillside were watching their sheep, they were visited by angels. The angels announced that Jesus, the promised Messiah, had been born. The Shepherds went to see the newborn Jesus. He was not born in a hospital but was born in the stable of a barn where the animals lived. For a cradle He was placed in a food manger.
Later, after they saw the bright star in the sky signifying that the promised Savior had been born, wise men came from distant lands with gifts to visit Jesus. They bowed down before Him and worshipped the tiny baby.
The events in this section are recorded in Luke 1 and Luke 2