Jesus' birth and early life
Not a lot is known about Jesus' early life. Yet what is known is important.
Announcement to Mary
Unlike you and me, the birth of Jesus was announced to his mother before conception. In fact, the Bible states emphatically that Jesus did not have a natural father. An Angel of God made the announcement to Mary; not only that she would have a child, but that it would be a special boy child. In the announcement, Mary was told to call her son 'Jesus'. This name had a meaning 'Saviour', and it indicated clearly to Mary the reason for the birth of this child. He was to be born as a saviour (rescuer) of people, and he was going to restore people to a good relationship with God. God, in a divine act involving only himself and Mary, announced that he would produce a child. This special child later referred to himself as the Son of God. In what way does Jesus, as the 'Saviour', affect you?
Birth in Bethlehem
Before Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph were required to go to Bethlehem to register in a census. While they were on this trip, Mary gave birth to her first child, a son, Jesus. This was as predicted. Some amazing events accompanied the birth of Jesus, and these events reinforced Mary and Joseph's conviction that Jesus was a special child. Despite the fact that he was born in a stable, it was a glorious event announced by the angels of God. They said, 'This very day in David's town your Saviour was born - Christ the Lord'. This was announced to some shepherds, who went to see if this was really true. The Bible says that they found it just as the angels had told them! This event is still celebrated each Christmas. We should remember this special event when the 'Saviour' and the 'Lord' was born.
Wise Men and Herod
An unusual star appeared in the sky. Some men, often called 'wise men', saw this star and somehow recognized that a marvelous event had occurred. They followed the star, and one day came to the place where Jesus was. They gave the child Jesus some expensive gifts in acts of worship. They recognized him, not only as a wonderful child, but as a person with great authority, a king.

On their travels, they had asked directions from Herod the king over that part of Palestine. When Herod heard them referring to this child as a king, he determined to kill the child. However, Joseph and Mary were able to get out of the country because, once again, they received a message from an angel.

Later, after Herod had died, they returned to a town called Nazareth, and lived there. Joseph was a carpenter, and no doubt, Jesus learned the skills of carpentry. Little is known about him until he is about 30 years old, when he started teaching publicly.
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