Introduction to 30 Bible Verses About the Birth of Jesus
The collection of Bible verses about the birth of Jesus encompasses a narrative that transcends mere historical recounting, embedding itself deeply in the spiritual and cultural consciousness of countless generations. These scriptures form a mosaic of prophecy, divine intervention, and humble beginnings, painting a multifaceted portrait of one of the most significant events in Christian theology.
Rooted in the Old Testament are the prophecies that set the stage for this miraculous event. Verses like Isaiah 7:14, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel,” and Micah 5:2, predicting the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem, are not just foresights but are foundational to understanding the magnitude of what was to come. These prophecies encapsulate a deep longing and anticipation for a savior, weaving a narrative thread that stretches across centuries and cultures, awaiting fulfillment.
As we transition to the New Testament, the Bible verses about the birth of Jesus shift from anticipation to realization. The Annunciation to Mary in Luke 1:31, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus,” is a moment of profound revelation. It signals the divine entering the human realm, not with grandeur but with the vulnerability of a child. This paradoxical entry of the divine into the world is at the heart of the Christian understanding of the incarnation.
Matthew’s Gospel connects this event back to Isaiah’s prophecy, linking Jesus’ birth to a divine plan unveiled centuries earlier. The juxtaposition of the prophecy and its fulfillment serves to highlight the continuity of God’s engagement with the world and His faithfulness in keeping promises.
The settings and characters surrounding Jesus’ birth are equally significant. His birth in a humble stable, announced to shepherds – the lowly and overlooked of society – and honored by wise men from distant lands, speaks volumes about the nature of His mission and kingdom. It suggests a universal message of salvation, transcending social, ethnic, and geographic boundaries. This aspect of inclusivity and humility challenges preconceived notions of power and greatness.
These Bible verses about the birth of Jesus, therefore, offer a rich mosaic of theological insights and spiritual truths. They are not merely accounts of an ancient event but are living narratives that continue to inspire, challenge, and transform individuals and societies. In studying these verses, one engages with a story that resonates with themes of hope, redemption, and divine love – themes that have shaped and continue to shape the course of human history and individual lives.
By exploring these verses, we are invited into a deeper understanding of the Christian faith and the profound mystery of God becoming man. They encourage reflection on the nature of God’s interaction with humanity and invite us to consider the impact of Jesus’ birth on our understanding of divinity, humanity, and the profound interplay between the two.
Prophecies of Jesus’ Birth
This selection encompasses verses from the Old Testament that foreshadow the birth of Jesus Christ. These prophecies, penned by prophets like Isaiah and Micah, not only fortell the miraculous virgin birth but also detail the lineage and birthplace of the Messiah. They set the stage centuries before His arrival, emphasizing His divine nature and the monumental significance He holds in God’s redemptive plan for humanity. These prophecies are key to understanding how Jesus’ birth fulfills God’s promises and the anticipation that surrounded His arrival.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. NIV
In Other Words: Thus, the Lord will show you a sign: A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be Immanuel.
One-Line Summary: A prophecy about the miraculous virgin birth of Immanuel (God with us).
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
In Other Words: Yet, from you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, small among the clans of Judah, shall emerge a ruler over Israel, whose origins are rooted in the distant past.
One-Line Summary: A prophecy about the miraculous virgin birth of Immanuel (God with us).
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
In Other Words: A child is born to us, a son is given, and on his shoulders, authority rests. He will be known as Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
One-Line Summary: A prophecy about a child’s birth who will be a powerful and eternal ruler.
The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.
In Other Words: Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise a righteous Branch from David, a King who will rule with wisdom and justice in the land.
One-Line Summary: A prophecy of a righteous king descending from David.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
In Other Words: From Jesse’s lineage, a sprout will emerge; a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.
One-Line Summary: Foretelling a fruitful descendant from Jesse’s lineage.
Annunciation to Mary
In these verses, we delve into the narrative of the angel Gabriel’s visitation to Mary, a young woman in Nazareth. This encounter is crucial as it announces the conception of Jesus, marking a cornerstone event in Christian theology. Mary’s response to this divine revelation exemplifies her faith and obedience. This annunciation is a moment of profound theological importance, signifying the incarnation of God in human form and highlighting Mary’s role as the mother of Jesus, chosen for her purity and faithfulness.
The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ NIV
In Other Words: The angel approached her, saying, ‘Blessings to you, highly favored one! The Lord is with you.’
One-Line Summary: The angel Gabriel greets Mary, announcing she is favored by God.
But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.’
In Other Words: The angel reassured her, ‘Fear not, Mary, for you have gained favor with God. You will conceive and birth a son, to be named Jesus.’
One-Line Summary: Angel Gabriel tells Mary she will conceive Jesus, the Son of God.
The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’
In Other Words: The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will descend upon you, and the Most High’s power will envelop you. Thus, the child born will be called the Son of God.’
One-Line Summary: The angel explains that Mary will conceive Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
For no word from God will ever fail.
In Other Words: For nothing is impossible with God.
One-Line Summary: Angel Gabriel assures that with God, nothing is impossible.
‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.
In Other Words: Mary responded, ‘I serve the Lord. Let your word to me be fulfilled.’ And then the angel departed.
One-Line Summary: Mary accepts her role as the mother of Jesus with faith.
This selection focuses on Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. The verses describe Joseph’s divine revelations received through dreams, guiding him in his crucial role in the birth and early life of Jesus. Initially troubled by Mary’s unexpected pregnancy, Joseph’s faith and righteousness are evidenced in his response to the angel’s reassurances. These dreams not only confirm the divine nature of Mary’s pregnancy but also guide Joseph to protect his family, first by accepting Mary and then by fleeing to Egypt, thus playing a pivotal role in the nativity story.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
In Other Words: While pondering this, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph, saying, ‘Joseph, descendant of David, fear not to take Mary as your wife, for her child is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’
One-Line Summary: An angel reassures Joseph in a dream about Mary’s divine pregnancy.
‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).
In Other Words: A virgin will bear a son, and they shall call him Immanuel’ (meaning ‘God with us’).
One-Line Summary: A dream reaffirms Isaiah’s prophecy of the virgin birth.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
In Other Words: Joseph, upon awakening, did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.
One-Line Summary: Joseph obeys the angel’s message and takes Mary as his wife.
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’
In Other Words: After their departure, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, instructing, ‘Arise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt. Remain there until I tell you, for Herod intends to search for the child to destroy him.’
One-Line Summary: An angel warns Joseph to flee to Egypt to protect Jesus from Herod.
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.’
In Other Words: Upon Herod’s death, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Arise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those seeking the child’s life are now dead.’
One-Line Summary: An angel tells Joseph it’s safe to return to Israel after Herod’s death.
Birth of Jesus
Here, the verses narrate the central event of Christianity – the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. This listing captures the simplicity and humility of Jesus’ birth: born to a modest family, in a manger, and announced to shepherds. The circumstances of His birth fulfill ancient prophecies and symbolize a break from expectations of kingly grandeur, indicating a Messiah who identifies with the lowly and marginalized. This part of the narrative underscores the humble beginnings of Jesus, who is destined for a revolutionary role in human history.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
In Other Words: During their stay, the time came for the baby’s birth, and Mary delivered her firstborn son. She swaddled him and laid him in a manger, as there was no lodging available for them.
One-Line Summary: Jesus is born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger.
But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
In Other Words: He did not consummate their union until she had given birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.
One-Line Summary: Joseph names the baby Jesus, fulfilling angel’s instructions.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
In Other Words: This day in the city of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
One-Line Summary: The birth of Jesus, the Savior and Messiah, is announced.
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
In Other Words: And this is the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger.
One-Line Summary: The shepherds are given a sign to find baby Jesus.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law.
In Other Words: But when the appointed time arrived, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.
One-Line Summary: Jesus’ birth in fulfillment of God’s perfect timing.
The Shepherds and Angels
These verses illuminate the experience of the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth. The sudden appearance of angels to these ordinary, working men signifies God’s intention to reveal the Messiah first to the humble and lowly. The angels’ message of peace and joy encapsulates the essence of Jesus’ mission. The shepherds’ journey to Bethlehem and their subsequent joyous proclamation of what they witnessed symbolize the spreading of the Gospel, starting from the most unexpected witnesses.
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.
In Other Words: Shepherds in the field nearby kept watch over their flock by night. Suddenly, the Lord’s angel appeared, and the Lord’s glory shone around them, causing fear.
One-Line Summary: Shepherds are visited by an angel announcing Jesus’ birth.
But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’
In Other Words: The angel assured them, ‘Fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy for all people. Today, in David’s town, a Savior is born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’
One-Line Summary: The angel declares Jesus’ birth as joyful news for all.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’
In Other Words: Instantly, a multitude of the heavenly host joined the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.’
One-Line Summary: A host of angels praise God for Jesus’ birth.
When the angels had left them and gone into 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.’
In Other Words: When the angels departed into heaven, the shepherds discussed, ‘Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see this event the Lord has made known to us.’
One-Line Summary: Shepherds decide to visit Bethlehem to see Jesus.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
In Other Words: The shepherds returned, praising and glorifying God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told to them.
One-Line Summary: Shepherds glorify God for what they witnessed in Bethlehem.
Visit of the Magi
In this final category, the focus is on the Magi’s journey to honor the newborn king. These verses narrate the arrival of wise men from the East, guided by a star to Jesus. Their visit represents the acknowledgment of Jesus’ kingship and divine authority by the Gentile world. The gifts they bring – gold, frankincense, and myrrh – are rich with symbolism, foreshadowing Jesus’ future as king, priest, and sacrificial lamb. This event marks the beginning of Jesus’ recognition and acceptance beyond the Jewish community, signifying His universal significance.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’
In Other Words: Following Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem of Judea, during King Herod’s reign, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, inquiring, ‘Where is the newly born king of the Jews? We observed his star at its rising and have come to pay homage.’
One-Line Summary: Wise men from the east seek the newborn king of the Jews.
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
In Other Words: Listening to the king, they resumed their journey. The star they had seen rising led them until it stood over the place where the child was. Overjoyed, they saw the star.
One-Line Summary: The wise men follow a star to find Jesus and rejoice.
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
In Other Words: Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother, and they knelt and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
One-Line Summary: Wise men worship Jesus and offer him gifts.
And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
In Other Words: Warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another path.
One-Line Summary: Wise men are divinely warned not to return to Herod.
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
In Other Words: Realizing the Magi had eluded him, Herod became enraged and ordered the execution of all Bethlehem boys aged two and under, in accordance with the time he had determined from the Magi.
One-Line Summary: Herod, feeling deceived by the wise men, orders the massacre of young boys.
In conclusion, the Bible verses about the birth of Jesus weave a narrative tapestry that is both profound and transformative. From the whispered promises of ancient prophets to the humble stable in Bethlehem, these scriptures offer a window into the mystery and majesty of the incarnation.
Luke 2:11 encapsulates the essence of this miraculous event: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” This verse, along with others, underscores the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan through Jesus’ birth. In the simplest of settings, a promise millennia in the making is realized, altering the course of human history.
Furthermore, the response to this event, as captured in the Bible verses about the birth of Jesus, reflects a spectrum of humanity’s interaction with the divine. The shepherds’ immediate journey to see the newborn Christ, as described in Luke 2:15-16, demonstrates humble obedience and wonder. Similarly, the wise men’s determined pursuit, culminating in their reverent worship and offering of gifts (Matthew 2:11), illustrates the far-reaching impact of Jesus’ birth across nations and cultures.
These narratives are not just historical accounts; they are foundational to understanding the nature of Jesus’ mission on earth. They speak of God’s profound love for humanity, demonstrated through the incarnation of His Son, and invite reflection on the depth and breadth of this love. The humility, simplicity, and universality of Jesus’ birth set the tone for His life and ministry, emphasizing accessibility, inclusivity, and divine love.
As we reflect on these Bible verses about the birth of Jesus, we are reminded of the enduring power of this story to inspire hope, faith, and love. It is a story that transcends time and continues to resonate in the hearts of believers worldwide, reminding us of the light that dawned in a humble manger in Bethlehem and its enduring impact on the world.
5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Birth of Jesus Bible Verses
Why Is Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem Significant?
Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem fulfills the Old Testament prophecy stated in Micah 5:2, which predicted that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, a town in Judah. This is further affirmed in Matthew 2:1, where it is noted that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea during the time of King Herod.
How does the birth of Jesus fulfill the prophecy of a virgin birth?
The prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 foretold that a virgin would conceive and give birth to a son named Immanuel. This prophecy is fulfilled in the birth of Jesus as described in Matthew 1:22-23, where Mary, a virgin, gives birth to Jesus, and it is noted that this event took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet.
What Is the Significance of the Angel’s Message to the Shepherds?
The angel’s message to the shepherds, as recorded in Luke 2:10-11, signifies the announcement of Jesus’ birth as a joyous event for all people, indicating that the Savior, who is Christ the Lord, has been born. This message highlights the universal nature of Jesus’ birth as good news for all humanity.
Why Were the Gifts of the Magi Significant?
The gifts of the Magi (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) mentioned in Matthew 2:11 have symbolic significance. Gold represents Jesus’ kingship, frankincense signifies His priestly role, and myrrh, often used for anointing the dead, prefigures His crucifixion and death.
What Is the Significance of the Shepherds Being the First to Hear Of Jesus’ Birth?
The shepherds being the first to hear of Jesus’ birth, as described in Luke 2:8-16, symbolizes the message of Jesus being accessible to all, regardless of social status. Shepherds were considered humble and lowly in society, and their inclusion in this narrative highlights God’s grace being extended to everyone, not just the elite.
How Does the Star the Magi Followed Relate to the Birth of Jesus?
The star followed by the Magi, mentioned in Matthew 2:2 and 2:9-10, symbolizes divine guidance. The star leading these wise men from the East to Jesus signifies the cosmic acknowledgment of Jesus’ birth and God’s way of guiding people to His Son, indicating that Jesus’ arrival was an event of universal significance.
Why Did Mary and Joseph Travel to Bethlehem Before Jesus’ Birth?
Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem, as recorded in Luke 2:4-5, in response to a census decreed by Caesar Augustus that required everyone to return to their ancestral towns. Joseph, being a descendant of David, had to go to Bethlehem, which was David’s town, fulfilling the prophecy of the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem.
A Prayer Inspired by the Birth of Jesus Bible Verses
In the spirit of the narratives and teachings of the Bible verses about the birth of Jesus, we come together in prayer. These verses not only recount the miraculous and humble beginnings of Jesus Christ but also remind us of the profound love, hope, and salvation brought into the world through His birth. As we reflect on these scriptures, let us turn our hearts and minds in prayer, embracing the joy and peace that Jesus’ coming signifies for all humanity.
Our Prayer Inspired by Our Selection of Bible Verses About the Birth of Jesus
In the quietness of this moment, we gather in reverence and gratitude, recalling the sacred story of Your Son’s birth. We remember the prophecies of old, foretelling a Savior who would come to us, a light in the darkness, a hope for all nations.
Lord, we marvel at the mystery of the virgin birth, as told in Isaiah and Matthew, where Your power and grace brought forth Jesus into this world. We are humbled by Mary’s faith and Joseph’s steadfastness, their obedience and trust in Your divine plan.
As the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem received the good news with awe, and the Magi from afar followed the star with devotion, let our hearts also be filled with wonder and dedication. May the joy that filled their hearts upon finding Jesus resonate within us.
In this prayer, we acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, the one true King, born in a humble manger. We are reminded of His mission to bring love, peace, and reconciliation. May His example guide our actions and thoughts, teaching us humility, compassion, and love for one another.
Lord, bless us with the wisdom to seek You as the wise men sought the newborn King. Give us the courage to proclaim Your message of love and salvation, just as the shepherds did.
As we reflect on these Bible verses about the birth of Jesus, let them be a constant reminder of Your unfailing love and the gift of Your Son, our Savior. May our lives be a testament to Your grace, as we strive to walk in the light of Jesus Christ.
In His holy name, we pray,