Birth of Christ Sequencing
From Nazareth to Bethlehem to Nazareth to Egypt to Nazareth
Mary espoused to Joseph, but he decides to put her away. God gives him a dream. After dream, Joseph and Mary are married.
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
We switch to Luke’s account. Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem as Matthew has given us the reason that they both go. Joseph goes per the decree of Caesar Augustus.
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:)
Jesus is born.
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.
Angels inform the shepherds of the event.
And they [shepherds] came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
8th day circumcision in Bethlehem
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
After the 33rd day of her required purification, they travel from Bethlehem to the temple in Jerusalem for offering.
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
They meet two individuals Simeon and Anna.
And he [Simeon] came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
And she [Anna] coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
After these things, the family returns to Joseph’s home in Nazareth.
And when they [Mary and Joseph] had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
Sometime later, but less than two years after His birth, magi arrive in Jerusalem, searching for King.
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, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Herod wonders where the King is born and assumes wrongly that is also his residence. Herod calls his wise men.
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Herod now knows where the King was born and presumably still is, but next wonders when the King was born.
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
Later we know Herod will have the male babies born less than 2 years of age killed in Bethlehem. So the star had appeared and they had travelled up to 2 years.
And he [Herod] sent them [magi] to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
This next verse is revealing and striking. The star had led the magi to Jerusalem where they thought the king would reign. They find out instead where he was born. To get from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, they just need ask for local directions. So, why then would the star appear again to them since again the magi now knew where Christ had been born? The only reason is because the family was no longer in Bethlehem, but in Nazareth as Luke informs. Don’t go to Bethlehem, but go to Nazareth. Thus the magi rejoice for the truth. Better to be led by God than by man.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
The contrast of time is also striking. The shepherds had found the family of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus the new-born the babe in a manger. The magi find the family in a house. They find a young child or an infant, not a new-born. Specifically, they find Mary and Jesus because presumably Joseph would be out working to support his new family.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Rather than return to Jerusalem to tell Herod the news, the magi leave for their own country.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Joseph, though not present at their visit, is still the leader of the family. God warns him in a dream to take his family and leave Nazareth for Egypt.
When he [Joseph] arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
Herod eventually realizes the magi are not returning to him.
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
After Herod’s death, the family leaves Egypt and returns to Israel.
But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
They leave Egypt and return to Israel and resettle in Nazareth.
And he [Joseph] came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He [Jesus] shall be called a Nazarene.
This is the reconciliation of the times and events of those things surrounding Christ’s birth.