The Lord Jesus Christ - His birth and childhood

Jesus declared "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father". John 14:9, see 1:18.

His Birth

  • A mystery.
    • we may not understand how He could be both perfectly divine and fully human but this should not stumble our faith.
    • God prepared the world for 4000 years before this event took place. A sinless Man arrived amongst sinful men ! Could this have occurred in an ordinary way ?
    • it is easy to believe in the HOW of His birth when we remember WHO was born.
  • does not the pre-existence of Christ demand some miracle of birth ?
    • He did not come by natural generation - a man and a woman
    • He did not come as Adam did - without a man and a woman
    • He did not come as Eve did - a man without a woman
    • He did not come as Isaac did - a man and a woman divinely empowered
    • He was born of a woman, without a man, having. been begotten of the Holy Spirit Matt 1:20, Lk 1:35.
  • A miracle.
    • it was not a mere baby who was thus supernaturally begotten, but the eternal Son of God with respect to His human nature. At no time was His supernatural identity suspended.
    • yet the conception, embryonic development and birth were as for other children
    • except that it was a virgin conception, and of such a character to ensure sinlessness.
    • such a birth was foreshadowed in the Old Testament
    • "the seed of the woman" in Gen 3:15 is remarkable. On every other occasion the phrase is used of the seed of the man.
    • no language could be clearer than that of Isaiah 7:14, quoted in Matthew 1:22-23
  • The seriousness of rejecting this truth.
    • If the virgin birth is untrue :-
    • the New Testament is unreliable, and without authority
    • Mary was unchaste, for Joseph was clear the child was not his Matt 1:18-19
    • Jesus was the natural child of sinful parents. He was thus not pre-existent, and not the incarnate Son of God.
    • there is no way to explain His peerless character and sinless life
    • He was not God manifest in the flesh, and had no power to forgive sin, or to be an acceptable Substitute on the cross.
    • there is no reason why we should stop at rejecting this miracle. Why not reject them all?
  • Some objections considered.
    • having one parent does not guarantee sinlessness - Psalm 51:5
    • it was the special activity of the Holy Spirit in protection and preservation and not just a supernatural begetting which guaranteed His sinlessness. Luke 1:35.
    • both Matthew & Luke trace Jesus' ancestry through Joseph.
    • Luke's genealogy is that of Mary, who was apparently of the same tribe & family of Joseph. Matthew gives Joseph's line to establish Christ's right to the throne of David. Technical study bears this out.
    • the men who compiled the tables were men who also recorded the virgin birth. They would hardly have contradicted it, and in fact guarded the truth jealously - see Matt 1:16, Lk 3,23.
    • many New Testament writers do not refer to the event at all but their silence proves nothing. except that they did not mention it. They certainly say nothing whatever to contradict it
    • Paul in particular uses some unusual and significant expressions when referring to the incarnation - Rom 8:3, Phil 2:7, Gal 4:4.
      • the Sinless One has come !
      • God was manifest in the flesh !
      • there is a Saviour for sinners !
His childhood.
  • "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." Luke 2:40.
  • Jesus began life as a perfect child, but as a CHILD nonetheless
  • The Saviour, Christ the Lord, was born ! How unlike pagan deities !
  • He passed through every experience we pass through - without sin.
  • we know of a few details of His infancy, such as His birth, presentation in the Temple, visit from Wise Men, flight into Egypt, and arrival in Nazareth. Matt 1:18-2:23, Lk 2:1-40.
  • But nothing of His childhood up to the age of 12 is recorded, except the verse above. No amazing incidents are recorded, because none happened. He grew & developed as a normal child, not a prodigy, yet without sin - Heb 4:15.
  • He was brought up in a small, rough, despised northern village. Lk 4:16-30, John 1:45, 7:52
  • the oldest of at least 8 children. Matt 13:55-56
  • his supposed father was the village carpenter. Matt 13:55.
  • the home was probably a typical Jewish home of the place and period
  • and He lived and grew there without sin.

The child grew

    • He experienced normal physical development. indistinguishable from other boys, except for His sinlessness.
    • the foundation of His later amazing physical endurance was laid
    • He played the games, and entered the occupations of other children. Lk 7:31-32.
    • His voice would give promise of its later power.

Filled with wisdom.

    • He advanced in mental attainment,
    • He learned to speak; to read (Lk 4:17); and to write (Jn 8:6-8).
    • from earliest days Mary would have taught Him Psalms, OT history, parts of Law,
    • from 3 Joseph would have given Him more thorough teaching, in the Law, and the meaning of the festivals - and a trade !
    • from 6-11 he would have attended the village school held in the synagogue which He attended on Sabbaths, and learned the Law, by repetition.
    • no stain of sin would have clouded His understanding of spiritual things; and He would increasingly see that the Scriptures wrote of HIM !
    • throughout this time He was observant, and probably asked many questions He certainly recalled these things with ease and accuracy in later years (e.g. weather; weddings; sower; reaper; shepherd; innkeeper; soldiers; Pharisees; tax men; fishers; candles; leaven; vineyards; etc....)
    • He also began that personal mastery of all branches of education which would later make the rabbis gasp - Jn 7:15.
    • at 12 He would have become a 'Son of the Law', and would have been robed in the garments of a man

And the grace of God was upon Him.

    • He was totally unlike any other child in this respect.
    • there was no flaw or defect in His personality.
    • purity; kindness; meekness; goodness; truthfulness; obedience to parents, etc...
    • it was the perfect, all-rounded development of a sinless child.
    • "Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. " Luke 3:22.