When was Jesus born? Was it really in December as Christmas suggests or could it have been at a different time of year? This video will examine several different events described in the Bible at the time Jesus was born. Then you’ll find out exactly when Jesus was born.
An important point: In reality, it doesn’t really matter when Jesus was born. Whether he was born in the summer, winter, spring, or fall doesn’t make much of a difference. The only thing that matters is that Jesus was born! If he wasn’t, then we wouldn’t be able to be saved.
Therefore, get out there and share the fact that Jesus was born and rejoice that he was born to be your savior!
1 Chronicles 24:6-19
Merry Christmas! Hello and welcome to Social Media Ministries. My name is Spencer Coffman. Thank you so much for tuning in. We’ve got a great message today.
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Today, we are going to talk about Jesus’ birthday. So it’s pretty common that Jesus is known to have been born on Christmas, or December 25th. A lot of people believe that. A lot of people think that because the Christmas season.
“Christ-mass” the word itself is like if you look at Catholics, they have mass or that’s their church, and what is Christmas? Well, it’s a mass of Christ, so if you break down the word, that’s what that goes for. So, a Christmas is a time of celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Now was he really born on December 25th? That’s what we’re going to take a look at. But the main point is that he was born, so if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior, your Lord, and Savior, then I would love to help you do that. You can comment below. You can reach out to us on Instagram. Send us a message. Contact us some way. Speak to someone.
But the point of it is when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior into your heart and accept that he forgave your sins, your life will change. You will embark upon a new journey. The old will be gone; the new has arrived. So, that is something that is really truly a miracle, and we want that for you very, very much.
So let’s continue on. We are going to read in the Bible Luke Chapter 2, Verses 1 to 19. Now I know that’s a lot of Verses, but I’m going to read them all.
Why? Well, because it’s the whole story – Luke Chapter 2:1 to 19, so if you have your Bible, please follow along. If you don’t have your Bible, don’t worry. You can come back at any time. You can follow along. Then, you can look at the references that will be written in the description below, and you can come back and look them up at that time.
So listen up! Here we got Luke Chapter 2, Verses 1 to 19:
In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to his town to register.
So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea and to Bethlehem the town of David because he belonged to the house line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who he was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in cloths, placed him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly hosts appeared with the angel praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby who was lying in the manger.
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told to them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds had said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
All right, that’s 2, 1 through 19 – a lot going on there.
So Caesar issued a decree for a census. Joseph had to take his pregnant wife all the way to another town to get registered – pregnant, not wife yet. They were pledged to be married. Then, due to the strain of the journey, whatever the case may be, perhaps it was bad timing, it was just the time on the way the baby had to be born. They went to the inns, no room at all.
So they went into a little stable or a barn, and right there in the hay the baby was born. They put it in a manger. Now in the pictures of the nativity scene, you see this manger and it’s all nice. The manger was nasty! This thing was dirty. This is a feeding trough for the animals.
Now Joseph maybe took a bucket of cow drinking water or something and threw it in there to kind of wash it out or something and packed it with hay, so it might not have been so bad.
But this is where they would dump the food for the animals, and what did they feed animals back then? Well, they fed them all kinds of stuff. It wasn’t like nice pelletized food like it is today. It was food scraps and you know all kinds of nature stuff, and anything that they could scrounge up to feed these animals went right in that manger. And then they ate out of it, so that’s where Jesus was laying, was in this manger.
Now obviously they put hay in there, and they wrapped them in – it says cloths. I didn’t read it wrong. Today some people say swaddling clothes or clothes. It’s cloths. They literally found whatever they could find, rags and cloths, and wrapped them up because they didn’t have all this stuff.
So they wrapped them up, put them in the manger, and then what happened? Shepherds were out in the fields. Angels came to the shepherds, shepherds were amazed, went to Mary and Joseph. Then what did they do? They became like the people knocking on your door saying, “Hey! Jesus is born,” and they told everyone.
You say, “Well okay, did that happen in the middle of December?” Well, it’s not what the Bible said right here. I mean it didn’t give us a date, but let’s dive into this. Let’s dig in a little bit more about when exactly this could be.
So some people say that Jesus was born in December. Other people argue – now by people we’re talking scholars. You can type this in on the Internet and get article after article of people arguing a certain point. So, some say September or October, November.
The Bible doesn’t give us an exact date, but it does indicate that he was born in the fall of the year. And you say, “Wait a minute. You read all this. It didn’t say anything about the fall of the year.”
Well, let’s check it out. All right Luke 2, Verses 1 through 3: Caesar issued a decree that the census should be taken, and this was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone went to his town to register.
All right, a census – when does a census get done? Well nowadays it’s every 10 years, and who knows with our government when they do it, but this is when it was decreed back here. When would this have been? After harvest.
Why would it be after harvest? Well, if everybody had to travel to their hometown, Caesar wouldn’t upset the people by saying, “Everybody, right now, before you harvest your crops, go and do your census.” The crops would rot off the vine. There would be an uprising.
Caesar was a much smarter ruler than that, so he would wait till after harvest. When are crops harvested? In the fall. Crops were harvested in the fall.
Caesar waited till after harvest; therefore, the census must have been in the fall. Now yes, okay, I don’t have any references to support the reasoning other than the Bible and deduction, so you can accept it or not. But in the fall – crops are harvested in the fall, so the census most likely would have taken place after the harvest.
The next thing – this is another supporting point – Joseph and Mary had to go to a barn, or a stable, or a cave with a little manger with animals. Why? Because the inns were full. Why were the inns full?
If – because of the census? No. There weren’t that many people traveling. The inns were full in where? Where was he born? Bethlehem. Why would all the inns be full in Bethlehem?
Well, if it’s this time of year, which is the fall, traditionally there was something called fall festival, where people would travel, they would stay there, they would offer sacrifices at the temple in Bethlehem.
Or, they’d stay there because it’s on the way to Jerusalem, where they’d pick up their sacrifice their and they buy the sheep and everything in Bethlehem, and then continue on to make their sacrifices in Jerusalem.
Now, this could have been happening either on their way home or on their way there. But either way, fall festival would have been about the time, if this is in the fall, fall festival could have been happening or would have been happening, which then would mean all of these people would be traveling, and the inns would be full.
So that’s another supporting point.
They wouldn’t be full during the middle of winter. Too cold – people aren’t traveling. They’re hunkered down.
Another supporting point. Let’s get – so this is the third point that supports that this happened in the fall. Luke Chapter 2:8 to 19, which we read, here we have: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby.
[L]iving out in the fields nearby. They weren’t just out there walking through or passing. These shepherds were out in the fields, tending their sheep. This would not have been happening in the middle of December, or the end of December, the middle of winter during those cold months.
Sheep would have been in barns and been cared for in their stables, not out in pasture in the fields.
In the winter everything kind of dies, you know. This is obviously not the upper Midwestern United States where everything is covered in snow and, of course, there’d be nobody out living in the fields, but this was in the Middle East.
And so, in the winter, yes it didn’t get snow and cold, but it still was cold. I mean it’s kind of a desert over there. So the temperatures would drop. Things didn’t grow as well. The vines and the food that the sheeps would eat – all of the foliage would have died – and so they wouldn’t be out there in the middle of winter.
There’d be no food. Water would be tough to find. It’d be really cold. It’s just not a good climate for shepherds to be out and let alone sheep, so it would have been in the fall. That’s another good supporting point that shepherds were still in the fields with their flocks and they would have been out there before the cold winter months.
So, when would this have been? Well, for sure before November, very possibly in October but probably before October even. Usually, they would pull everything out in October, and so we’re talking that this was – the census, the shepherds in the fields, and the fall festival was probably all happening sometime during the month of September.
So let’s look at a timeline here to get a little bit more information on when this was going on. So if you remember there is another man who came about the time of Jesus, and the two – one was supposed to prepare the way for Jesus and then Jesus would come along. Now this man was John the Baptist.
So let’s take a look at his story. John the Baptist, his father was Zechariah the priest. Now Zechariah and his wife couldn’t have kids. Something was going on, and so Zechariah was in his priestly duty. We’re going to turn to first Chronicles 24:6 through 19.
Now this is about the divisions of the priests. I’m not going to read it all because it’s about casting of lots and when things are happening, and the Verse that we want to go to is specifically Verse number 10. And it says: The seventh – so the seventh lot – to Hakkoz and the eighth to Abijah.
Okay, now this is very, very critical. So the eighth was Abijah, the eighth course. Now this is about the tenth week of this cycle. The tenth week – follow me here – matches the second Sabbath month of Sivan. Now when is this? This is like May, June.
Okay, Zechariah was there for his priestly duties. When this was done – he was in this course – when this was done, he would have gone home. We’re going to go to Luke 1:26 for a little bit of a supporting point because – remember this mid-May, June timeline here, mid-May, June.
Okay let’s jump over to Luke 1:26. Luke 1:26 says: In the sixth month God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
Okay, so that’s just a Verse. The whole passage is about the angel Gabriel going to Mary and saying, “You are going to give birth to Jesus.” Now it says in the sixth month – well what is this six-month thing? This is the sixth month of the pregnancy of John the Baptist.
Now John the Baptist wasn’t pregnant; his mother was pregnant with him. This was also Luke Chapter 1. There’s a part before here, Verse 5: In the meantime of Herod king of Judea. There was a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah the eighth course.
Okay, as of Chronicles we – Okay: His wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were upright – and this is the story of him – Once – later on, skipping down, Verse 8: Once Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as a priest before God he was chosen by lot according to the custom of the priesthood to go into the temple of Lord and burn incense.
Now if you know the story, what happened is Zechariah went in there, God tells him “You’re going to have a kid,” and he doesn’t believe it, so God says, “You’re not going to talk about it until the child is born.” And, that’s it. He can’t talk now.
So: An angel of the Lord appeared to him standing at his right side of the altar. When Zechariah saw him he was gripped with fear, but the angel said, “Do not be afraid your prayer has been heard. Your wife will bear you a son. You are to give him the name John.”
So, that’s where it comes later on. See, here it says in Verse 18: How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.
And then that’s when the angel Gabriel says: “Now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this happens because you did not believe my words.” And so, that’s where this in the sixth month God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth to speak to Mary.
So, six months into this pregnancy is when Mary was told she was gonna have a son. So let’s get to the timeline here. Mid-June we have John, okay, conceived because – Zechariah was in his priestly duties, the eighth course, which is the 10th week, and that matches up with the second Sabbath of Sivan mid-May to mid-June.
Now, if Zechariah completed the duties, went home, his wife became pregnant in about mid-June, six months later the angel Gabriel went and spoke to Mary. Six months later would be about December 25th. Mid-June, it would be, you know, six months, mid-December. Then, that would be when Jesus was conceived, and Mary became pregnant.
How long does it take for a baby to be birthed, or to be in development? Forty weeks or people say nine months, but it’s 40 weeks. So it could be 10 months, but depending on if there are five weeks in certain months and when they’re pregnant, et cetera, so 40 weeks later from mid-December or end of December.
If you fast forward, where would that be? Mid-to-end of September. Now that’s just based on the human biology and the timing that we know with today’s medical field. So mid-September: Jesus born, and that coincides with all of the other stuff brought up – the shepherds in their fields, the fall festival, the inns were full, the census was being conducted – all of that signifies the fall.
And then we have further supporting points of Zechariah on his priestly duty. What course was he in? Well, according to Luke, he was in Abijah. When was this? We went back to Chronicles and see that that was the 10th – or the eighth lot, which of course coincided with everything about mid-May, mid-June.
And so, six months later we kind of reversed our timeline to figure all of this out. Now, you say, “Okay, that was a lot of information,” and, “All right, I believe you,” or, “Good job. You showed us that Jesus was born in September but what difference does it make?”
It really doesn’t. That’s the answer. The answer for all of this is it doesn’t matter when Jesus was born. What really matters is that Jesus was born. Jesus was born to come here and save each and every one of us. He was the perfect sacrifice. He is the perfect sacrifice, then and today and a hundred years from now or in the future – whenever.
All we need to do is believe in Him, believe that He came here, that He was born, that He lived a perfect life. He is the only one without sin and that He died as a sacrifice.
See the – in the, past I mentioned briefly that they would stop in Bethlehem on their way to Jerusalem to make the sacrifices, and when you sacrificed something for your sin it was a sheep without defect or something without defect, a perfect sacrifice.
So they would have to get these beautiful sheep – without defect – and then sacrifice them as atonement for their sins, or whatever number of other sacrifices they needed to do. When Jesus came He didn’t sin, which made Him perfect.
When they put Him on the cross, He died a perfect sacrifice. He took the place for our sins. He died for you, for me, for everyone. All we need to do is believe that that is exactly what happened and ask Him to become the Lord of our life.
So does it matter if He was born in December or September or any month? All that matters is that He was born. So celebrate Christmas! Use this as a time to remember that Jesus died for us; that he is our sacrifice, and that all of this really truly did happen.
Lord Jesus thank you so much for coming here, for saving the world, for leading by example and for doing everything that you did, showing us all of the things that you do that are written in the Gospels, Lord.
I ask that each and every person watching this would take the message to heart that, that even though there might be some discrepancies or controversies over the Christmas time and when you were born, that the – really the main point is the fact that you were born, and even beyond that it’s the fact that you died for our sins.
Lord, I ask that each and every person out there would really think about it and that they would treasure it in their heart – like Mary did – that they would be willing and able to accept that you are the Christ – the son of the living God, our Lord, and Savior.
And Lord, I ask that they would all have a really blessed holiday time, really blessed Christmas with their friends and family, and that the time ahead – the year ahead – would be very prosperous and successful, that we would have a whole nation that starts believing in and remembering you each and every day.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thanks again for tuning in, and I really hope that you do consider this, take it to heart, treasure it up in your heart, and remember that Jesus Christ died for you.