North Anderson Baptist Church
On the Way to Bethlehem “The Nativity”
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
God’s Word is so majestic! Everything God has said about the birth of His Son Jesus is exciting and gives us who read it such a picture of what happened in those days. Just think, God let us know about when Jesus was born but specifically where. Dr. Luke writes that Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census was to be taken in the land of Judea and many scholars have researched and found that there was a certain census during that time period. Because of the census, Joseph and Mary would have to travel back to Joseph’s birth place of Bethlehem to be counted; all of which fits right into the prophecies of the Messiah’s birth. Joseph and Mary knowing who their child was, realized that the Roman census was but a part of God’s great plan.
On the way to Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary leave Nazareth to go, some say, as much as between 70 and 90 miles on foot through the hills and on ancient roads. But, being careful many people travelled in caravans of families and merchants and probably Joseph chose to go that way as well. There were various ways the couple could get to Bethlehem. They could have left Nazareth and gone east toward the Jordan Valley. If they went as far as the river itself, depending what time of year they travelled, then they could be in trouble with the swampy lands and it would make the travel difficult.
Since we are not sure of the season in which they travelled, depending upon the time of the year: winter time the daily high temperatures may would peaked at 45° - 50° but it could be below freezing during the night; if it were in the summer-time the temperatures could range from 60° to the highs being above 100°. Depending upon the way they went they could find food and water before they encountered desert areas where little water would be available.
They might have taken the route that would take them from Nazareth to the Megiddo Valley, then turn southeast until they got to the Ridge Road and turn south along the ridge of mountains toward Jerusalem. There was a third way to go to Bethlehem, that would have been the sea route. Joseph and Mary probably did not take that route but most likely took the Ridge Road route down through Samaria. Remember, Jesus once took that route as as adult when He was going from Jerusalem to go to Galilee, where He stopped over to talk to the woman at the well.
While Joseph and Mary were “on the way to Bethlehem” they would have stopped for food, water and rest at some very familiar places. They would pass by Mt. Carmel where Elijah dueled with the prophets of Baal. The ancient city of Dothan was on that route which was the site that Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. They would go close to the town of Shechem where Abraham built an altar to pray and where Joseph was buried. The town lay in the middle of the valley between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim, the mountain that the woman at the well spoke of where Samaritans did their worship. After that they would go toward Shiloh as they went on toward Jerusalem. In Jerusalem they would have seen the great crowds and especially the magnificent Temple of Herod. Their trip was almost over when they got to Jerusalem because Bethlehem was but five miles more.
Weary and worn they must have been thrilled to know their journey was about to end when they approached the City of David. Were they thinking of the prophet’s words found in Micah 5:2?
We do not have the record that Joseph registered them for the census before Jesus was born. But, what we do know is that when they got there, more than likely, it was night and that they could find no room at the inn at which they tried to find a room. Dr. Luke tells us that because there was no room in the inn they were given a place to stay, probably a stable of some kind and in that stable there was a manger which when Jesus was born Mary lay Him there to rest.
Joseph and Mary had spent a long time on their journey on the way to Bethlehem and a stable, whether in a rock hewn cave or a wooden stable for the animals, it would not matter as tired as they were. But one thing we do know, is that our Lord and Savior, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, did come as a baby and was born in the City of David all in fulfilment of the prophecy of scripture.
The word nativity means: the process or circumstances of being born; time, place and manner of birth. The dictionary points out especially the Nativity, the birth of Jesus So, when we are talking about the Nativity this morning we are talking about the circumstances, the place and the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. For us who are followers of Jesus Christ, who have trusted Christ to forgive us of our sin and who through His resurrection will give us eternal life, we believe the birth of Jesus is important and that where and how He was born are things we can be sure about. Therefore, we can offer to our community a “real live” retelling of The Story of the Nativity to those who would come to the Drive Thru Nativity this Thursday and Friday right here at North Anderson Baptist Church.


Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby