Every Christmas, if no other time of year, we hear about the birth of Jesus, but where was Jesus born? Was it in a barn, stable, or was it a cave? Yes, I said cave. Where do you think Jesus was born?
The Birth of Jesus
To tell you this story, we need to start at the beginning, well almost. We won’t start with the creation and God’s plan of Jesus being born, but we will begin in the book of Luke.
The story begins in Luke 1 when the angel of the Lord appears unto Zacharias, the husband of Elisabeth who is the cousin of Mary who is the soon-to-be mother of Jesus. The Lord had heard Zacharias praying for a baby and sent an angel to him.
~ Luke 1:13 (KJV)
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
You see, the John in verse 13 is John the Baptist, who will be Jesus’ cousin. The story continues in verse 26 where it picks up when Elisabeth was 6 months pregnant.
~ Luke 1:26-31 (KJV)
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the vrigin’s name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at this saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Now this is where everyone asked the same question, “How can a virgin have a son?” The answer is quite simple. You need only read the verse that follows…
~ Luke 1:37 (KJV)
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
That verse says it all.
Where was Jesus Born?
Now that you know the beginning of the story, let’s find out this question – Where was Jesus born? This part of the story begins in Luke 2:1-5 (KJV) when Caesar Augustus sent out a decree that all the world should be taxed. When this decree was made, everyone had to travel back to their own city including Joseph. Mary, even though she was almost ready to deliver baby Jesus went with him to Bethlehem. So, did Mary have baby Jesus while they were in Bethlehem? Did she lay him in a manger? What was a manger? Was he born in a stable? A cave? Let’s find out…
~ Luke 2:6-7 (KJV)
6 And so it was, that , while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
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.
These two verses tells us three things. First, Jesus was born in Bethlehem while Joseph and Mary were there due to the tax decree. Next, we learn that there was no room for them in the inn, so they were not in some sort of hotel, motel or even a house. Last, we learn that when Mary gave birth to Jesus, she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.
A manger looks so nice and sweet when we see nativity scenes at Christmas time, but think about it – a manger is what the animals eat their food out of. It wasn’t clean, he didn’t have a nice warm blanket, and I’m sure it had a ’nice’ animal smell.
Was Jesus born in a wooden stable or cave?
This is a question that has been asked for years. During the Christmas season, the nativities all depict a small wooden shelter that covers the baby while others have a larger wooden shelter. Which is it?
Well, if we look at Bethlehem during the time of Jesus, did they build barns out of wood? Most animals were kept in caves, the bible does not say that Jesus was born in a wooden stable, a cave, or behind the inn. So, how are we to know? The most logical shelter that Mary and Joseph found would have been a cave, thus it is believed by many that baby Jesus was born inside a cave. Our pastor’s daughter at our church is certain and she has been to Jerusalem.
I did come across this, but I don’t think we’ll know the exact spot until we can ask Jesus himself and I look forward to that day.
If you want to read more about the birth of Jesus, go to Matthew 1:18-25 and Matthew 2