Since Jesus was conceived six months after John, we know when He was born. It is most probable that Jesus was conceived on the Feast of Lights, which is celebrated on the 25th day of the Jewish month known as Kislev (this occurs during the November-December timeframe). So Jesus was most likely born on the feast of Tabernacles on the 15th day of the month of Tishri (this occurs in the September-October timeframe).
On this holiday, all the Jewish people would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem from far away. Since Bethlehem was only 5 miles from Jerusalem, it’s reasonable to expect that all the inns in Jerusalem and Bethlehem would be full of visiting pilgrims attending the feast. This would explain why there was no room for Joseph and Mary in the inn and why she had to give birth to Jesus in a stable.
There is no place in Scripture where we are told explicitly, exactly what day Jesus was born on. And there is no place in Scripture where we are told to celebrate His birthday. Neither do we find any Scriptural record of the early Church celebrating His birthday. In fact, the date when the world celebrates Christmas is closer to the time when Jesus was conceived, rather than the time He was born.
We know that the Jewish Feasts are types of Christ, and that Jesus was sacrificed as the paschal Lamb on the Jewish Passover feast. This is explicitly stated in Scripture. And it was no mere coincidence, but rather a fulfillment of the feast, in which a lamb was sacrificed and its blood upon the homes of God's people protected their first born children from the death angel who was passing over.
Likewise, it is reasonable to expect that Jesus was also conceived and born on Jewish feasts, as well. If He was conceived on the Feast of Lights, that would be appropriate, since He is the Light of the World, who came as a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory for God's people Israel (Lk 2:32). He came like the rising sun from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death (Lk 1:79). And if He was in fact born on the Feast of Tabernacles, what a perfect time it was, since it was a time of rejoicing and celebration of deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Leviticus 23:42-43)! Jesus has come to set us free from the bondage of slavery to sin. He has provided deliverance from hell, death and the grave for all who believe in Him!!!
Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I also recommend reading The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, In What Year Was Jesus Born?, and The Son of Man, as well as the other articles on the Home Page of this blog. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.