DIG for Tuesday the 12th of December…..how many wise men…..Matthew 2 v 1

Well, I was hoping to write some DIGs about how ‘wrong’ the narrative about the birth of Jesus really is, but I’ve not got round to it yet (see DIG on December 1st).

My big ‘new’ revelation this year is why we have such an emphasis on the 3 wise men coming to see Jesus at His birth.

Looking at the Word we can clearly see that the wise men actually came to see Jesus when he was about 18 or 24 months old, and they actually came when He was home in Nazareth.

The Bible does not tell us how many wise men there were, but tradition says three (Matthew 2 v 1).

The Bible says the wise men met Jesus as a young child (look at the Greek) and not a baby (Matthew 2 v 11).

The Bible tells us that Jesus was taken home to Nazareth after going to Jerusalem, and that was where the wise men met Him (Matthew 2 v 11 and Luke 2 v 22 and 39).

So why is tradition so strong in telling us that the 3 Wise Men were in the stable at the birth of Jesus.

I believe that the Lord told me the answer to this question; it is to take away from the significance of the shepherds.

If we look at the Word we can see that the only people to see Jesus at his birth, other than Mary and Joseph, were the shepherds.

And if we understand whom these shepherds were we could see why Jesus was born, we get an amazing piece of typology about the mission of Jesus.

If we understand about the shepherds we can see that Jesus was born to die!

More later!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that we can read the truth about the birth of Jesus in your Word”.

Matthew 2 v 1…..Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem

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DIG for Thursday the 22nd of December….. where was Jesus really born…..Luke 2 v 7

To most people, included non-believers, this is a really simple answer; He was born in a stable at an inn in Bethlehem.

The answer however is not as straight forward as this.

Like many things in the church today the facts about the birth of Jesus have been twisted by religion and tradition, and the true meaning around His birth has been lost.

You will read over the next four DIGs that Jesus was not born in a stable in Bethlehem.

You will see that He was born near Bethlehem in a watch tower, and His birth is a wonderful picture of His work and ministry; His birth is a picture of Him being our perfect sacrificial lamb.

Take the time today to read my understanding of some special scriptures and then take the time to study this out for yourself; I can assure you that it will be time well spent.

What does the Word actually say about the birth of Jesus?

Matthew 2 v 1….. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

 Luke 2 v 4 to 7….. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

 Luke 2 v 11…..For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 Those three verses are all that the Gospels say about the birthplace of Jesus.

I agree that they say in Bethlehem, however the Greek could also mean on, at or near by.

Nowhere in scripture does it say that Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

He was not born at the inn, but that does not automatically mean that He was born in the stable at the inn; these three scriptures do not tell us where He was born.

Luke writes that He was placed in a manger.

The Greek word for manger means crib for fodder or stall; so He was placed in a container that was used to feed animals.

So it could have been a stable, but then again it could have been any building used to keep domesticated animals in.

If we are honest the scriptures at the start of the Gospels do not explicitly tell us the birth place of Jesus.

So are there any other scriptures to shed light on this?

More in the next DIG tomorrow…………………

Luke 2 v 7…..And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn

DIG for Thursday the 15th of December…..all this was written before it happened…..Matthew 2 v 5 and 6

I did a quick search on the Internet this morning after reading Matthew 2 v 5 and 6, with one article saying that Jesus fulfilled 353 prophecies that were written in the Bible.

This is an astounding number of prophecies to fulfil.

As many of you know, I have a degree in mathematics and know quite a lot about probability theory and statistics.

Jesus could have fulfilled a few of the prophecies written in the Word by accident, there would be a fair probability of him possibly meeting some of them just out of coincidence.

But to fulfil over 300 by chance is just not possible; the probability would be too small for that to happen.

According to probability theory once the probability of an event or series of events gets below a certain value it means this event is impossible.

This is what mathematics would say if we calculated the probability of Jesus fulfilling all the prophecies by chance; it is just not possible.

We of course know why it was possible; God was behind this.

God put in place a plan for the birth of Jesus and He got men to write down this plan through various prophecies.

Micah 5 v 2 spoke of Jesus being born in, at or near Bethlehem, we know from the Gospels that this was indeed where He was born.

This was written about 750 to 800 years before the event happened.

This is just one of the many prophecies fulfilled through the birth of Jesus.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the birth of Jesus, thank you for the prophecies in the Old Testament and the confirmation in the Gospels”.

Matthew 2 v 5…..And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, art not the least among the princes of Judea: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel

DIG for Friday the 18th of December…….He was THE sacrificial lamb; He came for YOU…..1 Peter 1 v 19

 

Looking at the evidence from the last couple of days could we conclude that Jesus was born at Migdal Eder (Shepherds Field) on the edge of Bethlehem and not in a stable at the inn?

Scripture, prophecy and Rabbinical commentaries point to this fact.

I believe that Jesus was born there.

This was the birthplace of every sacrificial lamb; Jesus was THE sacrificial lamb. The birthplace of Jesus is an amazing piece of typology; this birthplace points to Him being our sacrificial lamb.

Luke 2 v 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2 v 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Luke 2 v 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

The first people to see Jesus were the shepherds. The word says they were in the same country this means close by. Is it significant that God sent angles to tell the shepherds? Is it significant that the shepherds were the first to see Jesus? Why were the shepherds first was the question I always used to ask.

I believe these were not just any shepherds. I think they were the temple shepherds, watching their flocks at Migdal Eder. They could go and see Jesus (without a dereliction of duty and leaving their sheep) because they were already there at His birthplace.

The shepherds in Luke 2 were the temple shepherds. They saw Jesus after His birth at Migdal Eder. Migdal Eder; the place where all the sacrificial lambs were born.

These shepherds knew a sacrificial lamb when they saw one; they had inspected all the ones before Jesus to ensure that they were spotless, perfect and without blemish. How fitting that they should be the first to see Jesus.

Nothing in scripture is meaningless. There had to be a reason that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and was seen by shepherds. Once we know about Migdal Eder and the temple shepherds it all makes sense.

His birth is a picture of His mission and His death.

He is THE sacrificial lamb; He would deal with the sin of the whole world through HIS sacrifice on the cross. His birth points to the cross.

Of course He was born at Migdal Eder, in the watch tower of the flock. Of course it was the temple shepherds who saw Him first. They were always the first people to see the sacrificial lambs.

Perfect lambs were used to cover the sins of the people; Jesus removed the sin of the whole world.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice; we no longer need any more Passover lambs; Jesus was THE last sacrificial lamb.

1Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

1Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

1Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Jesus was not born in a stable by the inn in Bethlehem; He was born in Migdal Eder, at the watch tower of the flock, by Bethlehem. The birth of Jesus is a picture of how he would die, and what he’d die for; He would die as a sacrificial lamb for the sins of the whole world…AMEN

Speak this out today…..”Thank you for Jesus; thank you for my sacrificial lamb”.

1Peter 1 v 19…..But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

DIG for Thursday the 17th of December…… ordinary shepherds or special shepherds…..Luke 2 v 8

For the last couple of DIGs we have been looking at the birthplace of Jesus; if you have not done so, please read those first before you read this one…….

Let me describe Migdal Eder to you; it was a tower that was used as a farm building.

It was like a barn or a stable, but solely for sheep.

It was made up of stalls, or different areas, where individual sheep were kept separate.

Individual stalls were used for single sheep to give birth to the temple sacrificial lambs.

This was written down and in the archaeological record.

Now, if you go to Bethlehem today you will be taken to an area on the edge of the town called Shepherds Field.

A guide will tell you this is where the angel and heavenly host made their visit to the shepherds described in Luke 2. This is the same area shown by the archaeological record and Jewish writings where the lambs for the Passover sacrifices were raised.

At the time of Jesus all the lambs sacrificed in the temple were bred in one place on the edge of Bethlehem. Jerome, an early Saint, said that this area was “1,000 paces from Bethlehem”, so it was very close.

You could say this was in or at Bethlehem, similar to the Greek meaning in Matthew 2 v 1.

At this place sacrificial lambs were born and raised for the temple by the temple shepherds.

It was the job of the temple shepherds to ensure that the lambs used for the Passover were perfect and spotless.

These shepherds were the first people to see the sacrificial lambs.

They knew which lambs were perfect and without blemish; they were the experts when it came to sacrificial lambs.

So we have lots of evidence saying that the sacrificial lambs were raised on the edge of Bethlehem at Migdal Eder or Shepherds Field; I believe that this is the same place.

Could the shepherds we see in Luke 2 have been the temple shepherds raising the sacrificial lambs for the temple?

This mini DIG series about the birth place of Jesus will be concluded tomorrow when we will see where Jesus was really born and who say Him first!

Luke 2 v 8…..And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night

DIG for Wednesday the 16th of December…… the Kingdom shall come at the tower of the flock; Migdal Eder…..Micah 4 v 8

Yesterday we started looking at where Jesus was born; saying we cannot say for certain that He was born in a stable. We need to look at more scripture to answer the question about His birth.

Micah 5 v 2….. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

 Micah 4 v 8….. And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.

Micah 5 v 2 tells us that the ruler of Israel will be born in or near Bethlehem. This will not just be any ruler but this will be the ruler from “of old, from everlasting”; this is talking about Jesus.

Micah 4 v 8 is a part of a prophecy about the Messiah, and says that He will come at a place called the “tower of the flock”. This is the words “Migdal Eder”. This verse is literally saying that the Messiah will come at the tower of the flock or, literally, Migdal Eder.

So, the Gospels say He was born at or near Bethlehem and Micah says Bethlehem and more specifically a place called Migdal Eder. So what you may be saying. Now we have to move to archaeology and history!

Where or what is Migdal Eder?

Migdal Eder is mentioned in the Targum; this is like a commentary on the Old Testament scriptures that was written by Rabbis. There are a number of translations or paraphrases of the scriptures in the Targum.

The following is taken from the Targum, based on Micah 4 v 8 and Genesis 35…..

“He spread his tent beyond Migdal Eder, the place where the King Messiah will reveal Himself at the end of days”

So the Rabbis, well before the birth of Jesus, took their reading of scripture to mean that Jesus would be born at this place called Migdal Eder.

As well as the Targum, the Jews had a set of oral teaching called the Mishnah. Again this is a set of teachings from respected Rabbis well before the birth of Jesus. We know already that Migdal Eder literally means the “watch tower of the flock”.

The Mishnah tells us that this is the place where the ewes from the special temple flock were kept to give birth to the Passover lambs. This is where the lambs used in the Passover sacrifice were born and checked for purity. They were checked for purity by the special shepherds who were in charge of the temple flock.

You should be getting excited now in the picture that is emerging; more again tomorrow.

Micah 4 v 8….. And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem

DIG for Tuesday the 15th of December…..where was Jesus really born…..Luke 2 v 7

A number of the fellowship in MGF have been prompting me to share about the birth place of Jesus, this has become known as one of “my messages” at Christmas, I share the next few DIGs especially for you…….

To most people, included non-believers, there is a really simple answer to the question in the DIG “headline” today; He was born in a stable by an inn in Bethlehem.

The answer however is not as straight forward as this. Like many things in the church today the facts about the birth of Jesus have been twisted by religion and tradition, and the true meaning around His birth has been lost.

You will read today that Jesus was not born in a stable in Bethlehem. You will see in the next few DIGs that He was born near Bethlehem in a watchtower, and His birth is a wonderful picture of His work and ministry; His birth is a picture of Him being our perfect sacrificial lamb. Take the time today to read my understanding of some special scriptures and then take the time to study this out for yourself; I can assure you that it will be time well spent.

What does the Word actually say about the birth of Jesus?

Matthew 2 v 1….. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

 Luke 2 v 4 to 7….. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

 Luke 2 v 11…..For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 Those three verses are all that the Gospels say about the birthplace of Jesus. I agree that they say in Bethlehem, however the Greek could also mean on, at or near by. Nowhere in scripture does it say that Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

He was not born at the inn, but that does not automatically mean that He was born in the stable at the inn; these three scriptures do not tell us where He was born.

Luke writes that He was placed in a manger. The Greek word for manger means crib for fodder or stall; so He was placed in a container that was used to feed animals. So it could have been a stable, but then again it could have been any building used to keep domesticated animals in.

If we are honest the scriptures at the start of the Gospels do not explicitly tell us the birthplace of Jesus. So are there any other scriptures to shed light on this?

More in the next DIG tomorrow…………………

Luke 2 v 7…..And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn

DIG for Friday the 12th of December…… ordinary shepherds or special shepherds…..Luke 2 v 8

For the last couple of DIGs we have been looking at the birth place of Jesus; if you have not done so, please read those first before you read this one…….

Let me describe Migdal Eder to you; it was a tower that was used as a farm building.

It was like a barn or a stable, but solely for sheep.

It was made up of stalls, or different areas, where individual sheep were kept separate.

Individual stalls were used for single sheep to give birth to the temple sacrificial lambs.

This was written down and in the archaeological record.

Now, if you go to Bethlehem today you will be taken to an area on the edge of the town called Shepherds Field.

A guide will tell you this is where the angel and heavenly host made their visit to the shepherds described in Luke 2. This is the same area shown by the archaeological record and Jewish writings where the lambs for the Passover sacrifices were raised.

At the time of Jesus all the lambs sacrificed in the temple were bred in one place on the edge of Bethlehem. Jerome, an early Saint, said that this area was “1,000 paces from Bethlehem”, so it was very close.

You could say this was in or at Bethlehem, similar to the Greek meaning in Matthew 2 v 1.

At this place sacrificial lambs were born and raised for the temple by the temple shepherds.

It was the job of the temple shepherds to ensure that the lambs used for the Passover were perfect and spotless.

These shepherds were the first people to see the sacrificial lambs.

They knew which lambs were perfect and without blemish; they were the experts when it came to sacrificial lambs.

So we have lots of evidence saying that the sacrificial lambs were raised on the edge of Bethlehem at Migdal Eder or Shepherds Field; I believe that this is the same place.

Could the shepherds we see in Luke 2 have been the temple shepherds raising the sacrificial lambs for the temple?

This mini DIG series about the birth place of Jesus will be concluded tomorrow when we will see where Jesus was really born and who say Him first!

Luke 2 v 8…..And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

DIG for Wednesday the 10th of December……….where was Jesus really born…..Luke 2 v 7

I preached about the birthplace of Jesus last Sunday and have been prompted to share again my 4 DIGs about this topic from 2012….I hope and pray that this will bless you…….

To most people, included non-believers, there is a really simple answer to the question in the DIG “headline” today; He was born in a stable by an inn in Bethlehem.

The answer however is not as straight forward as this. Like many things in the church today the facts about the birth of Jesus have been twisted by religion and tradition, and the true meaning around His birth has been lost.

You will read today that Jesus was not born in a stable in Bethlehem. You will see in the next few DIGs that He was born near Bethlehem in a watch tower, and His birth is a wonderful picture of His work and ministry; His birth is a picture of Him being our perfect sacrificial lamb. Take the time today to read my understanding of some special scriptures and then take the time to study this out for yourself; I can assure you that it will be time well spent.

What does the Word actually say about the birth of Jesus?

Matthew 2 v 1….. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Luke 2 v 4 to 7….. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2 v 11…..For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Those three verses are all that the Gospels say about the birthplace of Jesus. I agree that they say in Bethlehem, however the Greek could also mean on, at or near by. Nowhere in scripture does it say that Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

He was not born at the inn, but that does not automatically mean that He was born in the stable at the inn; these three scriptures do not tell us where He was born.

Luke writes that He was placed in a manger. The Greek word for manger means crib for fodder or stall; so He was placed in a container that was used to feed animals. So it could have been a stable, but then again it could have been any building used to keep domesticated animals in.

If we are honest the scriptures at the start of the Gospels do not explicitly tell us the birth place of Jesus. So are there any other scriptures to shed light on this?

More in the next DIG tomorrow…………………

Luke 2 v 7…..And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

DIG for Thursday the 26th of December…..hear the Lord and obey; Mary did…..Luke 1 v 38

In the recent DIGs we have been looking at people in the “Christmas story” who have heard from the Lord, believed what they heard and then obeyed accordingly.

The last person we look at today is Mary, and I have saved the best for last!

Mary was the most important person in the birth of Jesus, she was to carry and nurture the King of Kings and Lord of Lords as her baby.

That must have been unbelievable for her to hear the first time she was told, and we do actually read that Mary asked a rather difficult question (Luke 1 v 28 to 34).

Mary was given an answer and she believed, and she then spoke out that truth.

This is one of, if not the most important statements ever spoken by a human being.

“Be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1 v 38).

Mary believed what the Lord said, understood it and then spoke it out.

It was at that point (although I cannot prove it through Scripture) that I believe Mary became pregnant.

Speaking out God’s truth is very important for us today; we need to believe and then speak out His truths and we will see them manifest in our lives.

Remember that death and life are in the power of the tongue, your tongue (Proverbs 18v 21).

Believe and speak out that you are healed, whole, accepted, loved and prosperous.

You are all these things as a gift of grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ; your role is to understand this, believe it and speak it out.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the example of Mary, and thank you that I can speak out blessings into my own life”.

Luke 1 v 38…..And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord;be it unto me according to thy word