Here’s a guide to know where was Jesus born.
Believed to be the incarnation of God the Son, Jesus Christ is a revered figure in Christianity and other religions.
Also referred to as a ‘Messiah’ or an ‘anointed one,’ Jesus proclaimed that the God of the Jews would soon intervene in human events and set up his earthly empire.
Bethlehem is mentioned as where King David and Messiah were born in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.
The four gospels of Matthew, Luke, Mark, and John make up the New Testament. Each of them offers a unique account of Jesus’ life. And only Luke and Matthew describe the birth and early years. All these gospels stand for the core of the Christian faith.
People in John’s Gospel questioned if Jesus was the promised Messiah because of a discrepancy regarding his place of birth. Some people asked whether Jesus the Messiah since he was from Nazareth in Galilee, given the prophecy of the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem.
According to a blind beggar in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is both a native of Nazareth and a descendant of King David. Nazareth was neither the place of King David’s birth nor his affiliation with it. He was a native of Bethlehem. Mark, however, does not identify Jesus with Bethlehem.
Bethlehem: Birthplace of Jesus Christ
In the New Testament, the Gospels of Matthew and Luke give an account of Jesus’ birth. Both agree on the fact that Bethlehem was the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Hundreds of years ago, prophet Micah prophesied that the Messiah’s delivery place Messiah Bethlehem Ephrathah.
Since the second century, Bethlehem has been identified as the birthplace of Jesus in the Christian tradition. Due to the fertility of the land, the region is firstly called Bethlehem, which means “house of bread” in Hebrew.
The city of Bethlehem is situated a few kilometers south of Jerusalem in West Bank, Palestine. Due to its association with Christ’s birth, it is considered one of the holy places that are popular among the believers of Christianity and pilgrims.
Yes, this little town, based in a limestone hill country, was selected by God rather than the holy city of Jerusalem or any other big city. The Savior’s lowly birthplace also serves as a testament to God’s greatness.
Church of the Nativity:
Constructed by the Roman emperor Constantine, it is one of the most sacred places in Christendom. It encompasses the grotto, which identifies the conventional location of Jesus’s birth.
This early church has beautiful architecture with interior walls featuring golden mosaics and beautiful paintings. The Door of Humility, an absurdly small doorway, serves as the entrance to the Basilica.
A fourteen-point silver star commemorates the precise location of Jesus’s birth in the Grotto of the Nativity, which is reached by two flights of stairs. You can see an inscription on the star that reads- Hic de Virgin Maria Jesus Christus Natus Est, which translates to “Jesus Christ was born here to the Virgin Mary.”
Being the first Palestinian World Heritage Site, it attracts tourists from around the world who visit to seek the blessings of Jesus Christ. At Christmas, throngs of people congregate to sing Christmas carols in front of the church in Manger Square.
Rachel, Jacob’s devoted wife, passes away while giving birth to their second son, Benjamin, during his protracted journey back to his native country. Jacob raised a pillar at her grave just outside Bethlehem.
Jewish pilgrims have long made their way to the Tomb of Rachel, particularly pregnant women. According to Jewish legend, Rachel’s tears have supernatural abilities, leading people who visit her grave to implore her to cry out to God.
Matthew references the prophet Jeremiah in the nativity narrative and refers to Rachel. “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted.”
This site is a holy place where people from all over the world congregate to confront their fair share of grief and troubles in silence. It is a sign of nurturing and maternal love.
City of David:
Bethlehem has a significant biblical history. According to the Bible, the prophet Samuel traveled to Bethlehem to look for a new king when he found a shepherd boy in the fields. He anointed him at God’s demand. The boy’s name was David he would rule the city in the coming years. In Luke’s gospel, Bethlehem is called the ‘City of David.’
There was a prophecy from David’s family that a new King would govern and reign forever. Several years later, keeping his word, God sent the messiah Messiahorn to the same town as David.
Joseph, the father of Jesus, belonged to the lineage of David.
Milk Grotto Chapel:
Located behind the Nativity Church, it is a pilgrimage site for Christians and Muslims. The grotto is carved out of white limestone, and a chapel is built over it. Religious significance and fecundity are associated with this location.
The site is mostly visited by pregnant women or those attempting to get pregnant. It is believed that if the white chalk is added to their diet and ‘Our Lady of the Milk’ is worshipped, their milk production will be boosted, or they will be able to conceive.
The story goes that they stopped in this cave on their journey to Egypt when Joseph & Mary were escaping from King Herod’s army. When Mary was feeding the infant Jesus, some milk spilled on the stone, turning it white.
That’s why the grotto has white walls. Also, above the grotto entrance, a figure depicting the Virgin Mary nursing her newborn child rests contentedly.
Christmas in Bethlehem:
Bethlehem is undoubtedly the site on earth that feels the most like Christmas. Since it is the place where Jesus was born, Christmas is lavishly celebrated here. Not just one day, but almost a month, is spent celebrating.
It is important to note that Christmas Day is not recognized on a certain day in this country. People of various Christian denominations, including Catholics, Protestants, Greek Orthodox, Ethiopians, Armenians, and others, can be found in Bethlehem. They celebrate Christmas in their ways according to their beliefs.
The example includes Orthodox Christians, who celebrate it on January 6, while for Armenians, it is on January 18. And for Roman Catholics and Protestants, December 25 is Christmas Day.
There are so much exciting things that can be seen in Bethlehem in the month of Christmas. Everywhere is lit up and decked out for Christmas, and the street is filled with Christmas music. Tourists from all around the globe visit Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas in the best way.
The Christmas procession, which entails passing across Manger Square while carrying a candle or cross, is the main event of the festivities. People participate in parades and dances and sing Christmas songs to celebrate this occasion. A huge Christmas tree is set up in the Manger-square.
Every Christian home has a painted cross on the door, and all homes have Nativity scenes on display.
The most awaited part of Christmas celebrations is visiting the most sacred place in the city, which is the Church of the Nativity, where Jesus was born. Here, the believers of Christ Jesus may be heard singing, clapping, and wailing as loud as they can.
First Nativity Scene
Developed by Francis of Assisi, the first nativity scene came into light in 1223. He used local Italians to represent the young Jesus to portray the biblical figures and employed a wax model.
The Nativity scenes swiftly gained popularity and spread throughout Europe. All the churches and cathedrals in the world feature images of the occasion in stained glass windows. For artists like Michelangelo, Raphael, and Rembrandt, the nativity scenes were a favorite subject.
With the birth of Christ, the nativity scene’s history captures the essential essence of Christmas. These days, when Christians decorate for Christmas, they often display a nativity scene with figurines showing the birth of Jesus.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, making it one of the holiest places in the world. With a population of around 25,000, the city of Bethlehem is a religious place administered by Palestinian Authority.
Most of the population comprises Christians, most of whom are Orthodox and Muslims. According to estimates, the Christian population has decreased from 80% to just a few percent under the Palestinian Authority.
Bethlehem is a commercial and agricultural town whose economy mainly depends on tourism. One of the holiest Christian places in the world is located there. Whether it be the Nativity Church or Rachael’s Tomb, the city has sites that are visited by tourists all year long. The city’s infrastructure, which includes its hospitals, schools, Bethlehem University, and transit system, museums, is well-developed.
There’s an SOS children’s village in Bethlehem located on the West Bank next to the famed Shepherd’s Field. It started operating in 1968. The idea is to create an environment for children to be raised in loving homes and their families.
The organization works to better the lives of persons in the neighborhood and makes an effort to meet family needs to prevent the loss of parental care for the kids.
Israeli-Palestinian strife has made Bethlehem a captive in the present.
The Story of Jesus Birth
According to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, it is anticipated that Jesus had a Virgin birth by the influence of the Holy Spirit. Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived. His father, Joseph, was believed to be a descendant of King David.
When Mary and Joseph got together, Joseph discovered that Mary was pregnant, but since he was a good man and didn’t want to put Mary in the public eye, he decided to get her a divorce secretly. However, the course of action changed when an angel told him that the child was the Son of God, begotten by the Holy Spirit. Joseph accepted Marry as his wife after listening to the angel’s words.
In Luke’s Gospel, a census decreed by Emperor Caesar Augustus marks the start of the account of Jesus’ birth. To perform their duty and to participate in the Roman census, Joseph and pregnant Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, which was a 150 kilometers journey.
They reached Bethlehem but failed to get any lodging. When an innkeeper realized Mary was about to give birth, he informed Joseph they could remain in his stable. They sat down there on the hay, and Mary began experiencing labor. Hence, Jesus was born in a stable. There was probably nowhere else for the newborn baby to rest but in the manger. So, Mary draped her firstborn son and put him in the cradle.
In the pastures close to Bethlehem, some shepherds kept an eye on their folks when an angel showed up. They received wonderful news from the angel regarding the birth of Jesus Christ. As soon as the angel told the shepherds they would find baby Jesus lying in the manger; they promptly set out to find him.
Three wise men, commonly referred to as magi, eventually noticed the dazzling light in the sky that was positioned over the location of the birth of Jesus. They departed from a far-off nation to find the born king of the Jews.
After learning of the Messiah, King Herod of Judea, a Roman client kingdom, plotted to assassinate the infant Jesus to end any danger to his throne. He encountered the wise men and instructed them to report back to him with the location of the infant king so that he, too, may adore him.
Following the star’s direction, the wise men arrived in Bethlehem and discovered Jesus. They bowed down to worship Jesus, the Savior. They presented him with gifts like gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When they learned that King Herod had no intention of worshipping Jesus and was instead planning to kill the infant, they took a different route home.
Joseph and Mary, with their newborn kid, fled to Egypt to save their child from King Herod’s assassination plan. Also, Matthew claims that the holy family doesn’t return to Bethlehem; instead, they head north to Nazareth in Galilee after King Herod passes away.
The teachings of Jesus and his earthly existence can be traced back through critical methodologies. This is what Historical Jesus means. Biblical academics now acknowledge that the Gospels have a theological interpretation of the religious significance of Jesus as a result of the historical-critical methods they have employed.
In present times, facts, particularly verifiable ones, frequently outweigh memory retained via the straightforward telling of events.
The Gospels’ accounts expressed the ideas and beliefs of the early Christians that existed during that era. They are not histories in the traditional meaning of the term. It becomes difficult to make interpretations based on these documents in modern times.
Origen, a theologian and a philosopher, had already broached the “modern” issue of the historical Jesus to some extent. According to him, the Gospels include some impossible facts though he referred to them as “histories.”
Almost all ancient history experts concur that Jesus existed, and any attempt to contest this fact has continuously been dismissed as a fringe notion by the academic community. Various sources apart from the Gospels claim the existence of Jesus.
Certain concerns influence the growing picture of the historical Jesus as these scholars refine their beliefs. Like, Jesus’ humanity has frequently been lost in the emphasis on his divinity.
Church disputes frequently centered on doctrinal concerns, such as how Jesus and the Father relate. The supernatural aspects of Jesus’s tale, including his resurrection and virgin birth, have been the subject of intense scholarly dispute since the nineteenth century.
The human Jesus also leaves evidence that he was quite human. He seems to be a lively person who preferred feasting over fasting and hung out with undesirable characters, something his family surely disapproved of.
Jesus was an itinerant preacher who attracted large crowds and caught rulers’ attention. His devotees remember Jesus as a healer, exorcist, and miracle performer. It’s interesting to note that his critics ascribe his abilities to Satan or demons rather than calling him a fraud or claiming the miracles were staged.
A very important historical aspect of Jesus’s life is his execution. The Roman Empire put Jesus to death because he was considered an adversary of Caesar Augustus, odd as he was a Jewish prophet and a healer who had no desire to overthrow the king.
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