Years ago, I was introduced to a remix of the gospels called The Harmony of the Gospels. It is an attempt to combine the Gospels into one chronological story of the ministry of Jesus. It allows the reader to see the consistency of the gospel narrative through the unique perspective of the Gospel writers.
This Christmas, I thought, why not pull out the Christmas story from the Harmony of the Gospels to get a similar experience reading about the birth of Jesus. I searched around for several resources and lists.
“Why?” you ask? I say, “why not?”
As a seasoned Christian, I’ve heard the Christmas story at the very least 37 times, but in reality, it’s in the triple digits. Iron Will or not, things can become stagnant in our hearts, and this story is too remarkable to allow it to stagnate, so I love reading it in new ways to see what God can reveal to me.
Below is my attempt at a Harmony of The Gospels with a few additions along the way. One such inclusion is Revelation 12, which I contend is the Spiritual backdrop under which the Christmas story takes place.
The birth of Jesus wasn’t only a beautiful story about God intervening in human history to ultimately bring about our salvation. It is Normandy beach of God’s salvation plan for humanity, a bulwark that the devil could not overcome and meant salvation for us all. It is truly an epic victory, and Revelation 12 bares that out. So when the Angel visits the Shepherds, it is more than a message; it is a victory cry for God. How great!
A rough outline (minus Revelation 12) can be found below if you want to read along on your own.
Have a blessed Christmas,
- Section 1: John’s prologue: from pre-incarnation to crucifixion (John 1:1-18)
- Section 2: Jesus’s legal lineage through Joseph and natural lineage through Mary (Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23b-38)
- Section 3: John’s birth foretold to Zacharias (Luke 1:5-25)
- Section 4: Jesus’s birth foretold to Mary (Luke 1:26-38)
- Section 5: Mary visits to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45)
- Section 6: Mary’s song of joy (Luke 1:46-56)
- Section 7: John’s Birth (Luke 1:57-66)
- Section 8: Zacharias Prophetic Song (Luke 1:67-79)
- Section 9: John’s Growth and Early Life (Luke 1:80)
- Section 10: Circumstances of Jesus’s birth explained to Joseph (Matthew 1:18-25)
- Section 11: Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1-7)
- Section 12: Witness of the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20)
- Section 13: Circumcision of Jesus (Luke 2:21)
- Section 14: Jesus presented at the temple (Luke 2:22-38)
- Section 15: Return to Nazareth (Luke 2:39)
- Section 16: Visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12)
- Section 17: Flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-18)
- Section 18: New Home in Nazareth (Matthew 2:19-23)
- Section 19: Growth and early life of Jesus (Luke 2:40)
- Section 20: Jesus’s first Passover in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-50)
- Section 20: Jesus is adolescence and early manhood (Luke 2:51-52)