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NATIVITY OF JESUS

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Mary and Jesus in a manger, early 1900s Bible illustrationIn the account of the Gospel of Luke, Mary learns from the angel Gabriel that she will conceive and bear a child called Jesus. When she asks how this can be, since she is a virgin, he tells her that the Holy Spirit would "come upon her" and that "nothing will be impossible with God". She responds: "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word".[12]

At the time that Mary is due to give birth, she and her husband Joseph travel from their home in Nazareth about 150 kilometres (90 miles) south to Joseph's ancestral home in Bethlehem to register in the census of Quirinius. Mary gives birth to Jesus and, having found no place for themselves in the inn, places the newborn in a manger (feeding trough).[13]

An angel of the Lord visits the shepherds guarding their flocks in nearby fields and brings them "good news of great joy": "to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord." The angel tells them they will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger. The angel is joined by a "heavenly host" who say "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!".[14] The shepherds hurry to the manger in Bethlehem where they find Jesus with Mary and Joseph. They repeat what they have been told by the angel, and then return to their flocks.[15] Mary and Joseph take Jesus to Jerusalem to be circumcised,[16] before returning to their home in Nazareth.[17]

[edit] Gospel of Matthew
In the Gospel of Matthew, the impending birth is announced to Joseph in a dream, in which he is instructed to name the child Jesus.[18] A star reveals the birth of Jesus to a number (traditionally three) of magoi (magi, Greek μάγος, commonly translated as "wise man" but in this context probably meaning "astronomer" or "astrologer")[19][20] who travel to Jerusalem from an...


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