Chances are you’ll be reading or hearing the Christmas story sometime this week! As a companion to your reading, here’s a timeline that shows where the myriad characters of the Christmas story were during events surrounding the first Christmas (click on the image below to enlarge):
This visualization traces the Christmas story as told in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2, showing you who is with whom throughout the story. Verse references are provided so you can look up each event in the Bible for details.
Each line represents a person, and the narrative unfolds as you follow from left to right. When character lines meet up and run alongside each other, those characters were together during that event. It starts with the angel Gabriel appearing to Zechariah and ends with the return to Nazareth of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
The following detail shows the most famous part of the story, the birth of Jesus:
In this part of the story, Joseph and Mary arrive in Bethlehem and find no room in the inn, so Jesus is born in a stable. Angels appear to nearby shepherds, who seek the newborn child and then depart, “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
This visualization is a companion to our Holy Week Timeline, which takes a similar visual approach to the Easter story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Also see the Bible Gateway Blog post, Bible Gateway “Holy Week” Infographic Published in Newsweek.