When Was Jesus Born?

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There’s always a great debate about when Jesus was born, specifically what time of the year (although there is also debate about the year itself). It is at this time of the year that many celebrate His birth, but it is unlikely that He was born during the winter months. Our first clue concerning this is that when Jesus was born, Luke’s account tells us that an angel delivered this message to shepherds who were out in the field watching their flocks (Luke 2:8-11). Bible scholars and historians tell us that in the Palestinian area sheep are not kept out in the fields from November through February. Also, it is unlikely that Caesar would have authorized a census where each person had to travel during the winter months when it was so very difficult. History reveals that these were usually done in the spring before planting or in early autumn after the harvest.

But even with all of that uncertainty, I believe I can still give an accurate answer as to when Jesus was born. Ready for it? Here it is: Jesus was born at the exact right time. Galatians 4:4-5 reveals, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption…”

God sent His Son to the earth at the precise moment in history, regardless of what year or month it was. Think about it. The Hebrews (through the inspiration of God) had given the Old Testament which through its prophecies pointed to the Messiah. The Greeks, who had formerly been the world power, had created a language for the common man (koine Greek) in which the New Testament would be written. The Romans, who were the current ruling power, had built an extensive road system on which the gospel could now easily travel. It was the ideal time for Jesus to come into the world – and thus He did.

Also let’s note that even though Jesus could have come in one of many different ways, Galatians 4:4 declares that He came as one born into the human race (to sympathize with us, Hebrews 4:15) and born under the law (so as to complete it, Matthew 5:17-18). Again, the timing of His birth was exactly right concerning these and every aspect of Jesus’ coming to the earth. What we need to remember is that God’s timing is always perfect – and we should celebrate that fact on a daily basis!

But the real question for us today is not “when was Jesus born,” but “have you been born again into Him?” (John 3:3; Acts 2:38).

Edd Sterchi
Broadway church of Christ
Campbellsville, KY

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1 thought on “When Was Jesus Born?”

  1. Hi Ed. I’ve heard the argument that our Lord probably wasn’t born in December because the shepherds were with their flocks by night. However, I checked the temperature of the Bethlehem area on Dec 25 and often it is high mid- 80s and low mid 60s. Remember that Bethlehem and Jerusalem are in a tropical/desert area. Just FYI.

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