Myth 1: Jesus was born on December 25th
Here’s a question. Was Jesus born on December 25th?
Ah, no. Probably not. I suppose since the Bible does not exactly say, there’s a 1/365 chance that Jesus was born on December 25th, but a real student that actually studies the Bible knows a bit better than that.
Detective students that follow the clues can discover that Jesus was born near the end of September. Maybe even September 25th, not December 25th, or so. How do I know? Follow these clues with me.
First, we know that the angel told Mary that her cousin, Elizabeth, the wife of the Jewish priest, Zachariah, was in her sixth month of pregnancy just before Mary became pregnant herself, not by a man, but by the Holy Spirt. The angel explained what would happen to her, and offered her proof in the news about Elizabeth.
Luke 1 says:
Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?”[j]
35 The angel replied to her:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore, the holy One to be born
will be called the Son of God.
36 And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
38 “I am the Lord’s slave,”[k] said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.
If then Elizabeth’s baby, John the Baptist, was due after three more months, and Mary’s baby, Jesus, after nine more months, all we would need to know was when Elizabeth became pregnant, and then we could count the months until Mary would deliver Jesus. Easy.
Actually, the Bible DOES say when Elizabeth conceived! Amazing! That is found in the book of Luke, Chapter 1:
5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah’s division[c]named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they had no children[d]because Elizabeth could not conceive,[e] and both of them were well along in years.[f]
8 When his division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 it happened that he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10 At the hour of incense the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and overcome with fear.[g] 13 But the angel said to him:
Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard.
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you will name him John.
Well then, if only we knew WHEN a priest of Abidjah’s devision would serve in the Temple.
Actually, the Bible DOES say when that would be. It would have been the eighth “course” or time slot.
1 Chronicles 24: 7-18:
7 Now the first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, 8 the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, 9 the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, 10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah.
The Jewish year started at passover, in the month of Nisa. March. Zachariah would have served in the eighth course, or in June, and returned to his wife, Elizabeth, therefore, in the middle to end of June. She may well have conceived quite soon. Easy. Just count. When is six months after June? December.
What if December 25 is not the BIRTH of Jesus, but around the time the angel came to tell Mary the news. What if Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit quite soon after that? That would put Jesus’ birth at the end of September, and John in March.
But wait. What if the REAL miracle of the life of Jesus is not how He was BORN. He was just born the regular way, or, well, slightly lower than the regular way since there was not room in the inn, and they laid him in a manger.
No. The real miracle of the life of Jesus is how he was CONCEIVED. By the Holy Spirit. In other words, he was not the son of a man, but the son made by GOD.
Isn’t it poetic indeed, that Jesus was conceived at the darkest time of the year? Maybe God has the last laugh after all. On December 25th we put on this big celebration called Christ-mas, but nothing is wasted. Perhaps we celebrate His CONCEPTION, not his birth. That’s worth pondering.
One more thing. A real student of the Bible would also be amazed at the fact that the real birth of Jesus was during Sukkot, the Feast of the Tabernacles. Maybe that’s why John writes in John 1:14 that Jesus “tabernacled” among us—or literally “pitched His tent” among us. On His BIRTH day.
This Christmas, let’s celebrate the REAL miracle that happened at this time of year—the moment Jesus was amazingly, miraculously, astonishingly conceived.