I tutor students. We start each day with Bible reading. Starting the first school day after Thanksgiving, we daily read the whole Christmas story in chronological order in the Scripture. We start with the announcement to Zacharias (also called Zachariah) and Elizabeth concerning the birth of John, who later became John the Baptist. We stop after we have read to Joseph and Mary’s return from Egypt and going to Nazareth. I have the list below.
Each time I have done this or read the scripture or heard the story, I find that there are details I have forgotten or missed.
For one thing, John would have been two years old, also, when Herod sent out the soldiers to kill all the baby boys two years old and younger, not just in Bethlehem, but in all the surrounding country side. Zacharias and Elizabeth, too, would have had to escape from Herod’s soldiers or hide John. While we do not know from the Bible, we can logically assume it had to be the same for John. He was only six months older than Jesus.
Another thing where many people make a mistake (as I have in the past), is that the wise men did not come to see the baby Jesus in the stable. He was a toddler and they were living in a house. (Matthew 2:11)
Jesus was about two years old when Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt. He had to be about two years old for Herod to make the decision to have all the baby boys two years old and younger killed. (Matthew 2:10)
When reading the full story of the birth of Christ, it is necessary to read both in Matthew and Luke. Reading it in chronological order really gives a wonderful perspective.
- Luke 1:5-80
- Matthew 1:18-24
- Luke 2:1-7
- Matthew 1:25
- Luke 2:8-38
- Matthew 2:1-23
- Luke 2:39-40