Jesus’ Birth and Escape to Egypt

The story of Jesus’ birth begins in the village of Nazareth, where Joseph and Mary lived (Luke 2:1-7). The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary there and announced to her that she would give birth to the Messiah. As the time drew near for Jesus to be born, Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem, the town of their ancestor David, to be counted in a Roman census. There Mary gave birth to Jesus. Perhaps as much as two years later astrologers called Magi came from the East to worship the newborn king of the Jews, because a star in the heavens signaled that he had been born, and it directed them to Jerusalem (Matthew 2:1-2). The Magi asked King Herod where the child was, and he asked the leading priests and teachers of the law, who pointed them to Bethlehem. So the Magi traveled five miles south to Bethlehem, and the star directed them to the house where Jesus and his family lived. There the Magi worshiped Jesus and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:3-12). An angel then warned Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt with his family to escape Herod’s plan to kill the newborn king (Matthew 2:13-18). After Herod died, an angel told Joseph to return to Israel with Mary and Jesus, and they settled in their quiet hometown of Nazareth to avoid being discovered by Herod’s son Archelaus (Matthew 2:19-23).

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