The Birth Announcement
All that we know of Jesus’ childhood is contained within this passage and Matthew 1:18-2:23; however, I will limit my comments to this passage alone.
Joseph took with him, to Bethlehem, Mary, to whom he was engaged, but had not yet known intimately, for she was with child; she gave brith to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. An angel of the Lord appeared to some shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks in the field by night. The angel announced the birth of the Savior for them and all people. They did not ask for a sign, but the angel gave them one: “you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” After this, a multitude of heavenly host came praising God. The shepherds believed, so they went to go see, and told the child’s parents what the angel told them. Jesus was the name given through the angel before he was conceived; therefore, after eight days, he was circumcised and given the name. After the days of Mary’s purification (30 days) her and Joseph brought a sacrifice of two turtle doves, as was required by the law of Moses for someone who could not offered a lamb for a sin sacrifice. While in the temple, they were greeted by Simeon, a devout man, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and by a prophetess named Anna; both of whom prophesied great things about Jesus. Lastly, at the age of twelve, they took Jesus to the passover festival in Jerusalem. They stayed for a week, which is the length of the festival, which concludes with a Salem assembly on the seventh day. Jesus got left behind, it took Mary and Joseph three days two find him; he was in the temple, listening to the teachers and asking questions.
I find it amazing that the birth announcement of the Christ, the Son of God, was given to shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks, in the field by night and not to the leaders. This announcement was given to the lowly and not to the great. Mark did not record any of Jesus childhood, but starts his gospel at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mk 1:15) The gospel is for all people: “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Lk 2:10-12) So, praise God and give glory to God and have peace among all men.