The Nativity Story Reviews
The journey to Bethlehem is difficult, especially for a pregnant mother Mary. They sit around a fire with others or alone. They went down to the Jordan River, cross, then through Jericho and back up to Jerusalem. The road is rugged and dangerous. Food isn't always available. Jerusalem is an exciting place for the couple who might never have been through it before the birth of Jesus. When Joseph passes the Temple and sees the money changers and sellers, he comments on what should be a place of worship. We should not be surprised that others saw what Jesus saw as well.
When they arrive in Bethlehem, it was night time. Mary is ready to deliver and Joseph desperately was seeking to find a place to stay though there was no inn, finally settling in a cave with animals in it, the traditional idea of the manger was born. After Jesus was born, a star shines brightly over the manger and the shepherds from the field and the Magi all appear to see and worship. .
This movie relates to world religions I thought it captured the cultural aspects very well. Such might surprise some. Biblically, where it quoted scripture, it was accurate. Like when everyone came to the manger is traditional but not Biblical yet this scene doesn't take away from the power of the movie. They compress the events after the birth of Jesus into a few scenes. So to reiterate scenes with precision and accuracy through scripture I feel tis movies was a good movie for Christian beliefs
What differs is the human struggle Mary and Joseph face as they get ready for the arrival of the Messiah. Joseph feels betrayed by Mary after she returns from a long visit with her family Elizabeth and Zechariah and he sees the she is definitely pregnant. The town begins to shun her and makes her feel like an outcast. Even Joseph has a dream of stoning her to death for her betrayal. Joseph is approached by the Angel and informed that it was all ordained by God.
An decree is issued from Caesar that all heads of households are to return to their country of origin for a census. King Herod finds out about the coming King from a group of traveling wise men from the East, informing the King about the prophecy, he plots to have the child killed.
Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem helps the viewer to see inside the thoughts of a young couple who are ordained by God to help deliver the Savior of the world. Neither feels qualified to take on such a task and even Joseph, in a moment of connection with Mary, wonders "If I will be able to teach him anything."
The arrival of Jesus comes and the wonder and amazement of the new birth brings hope from the lonely, outcast shepherd to the wise men. A beautiful picture of the arrival of the Savior is the climactic centerpiece of everyone's journey. A very emotional, stirring hope is born and the realization that something special has occurred is realized by all.
While the acting is not all that special, the story and humanity side of it put the emotions and thoughts of those who lived during that time on display to make the viewer realize a whole new perspective on what went down leading up to, and including, the birth of Jesus.
In relation to World Religions, the movie shows where Jesus was born in Bethlehem but didn't go as far as to mention him living in Nazareth throughout most of his life. In text, there is also mention of Mary conceiving the child while being a virgin. The four gospels attested to the Spirit of God/Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus at his birth. Our textbook doesn't go into much detail on the birth of Jesus as it is portrayed in the movie. Although, all the religions we have reviewed have a belief in a higher power whether named Jesus or some other deity.
Brodd, Jeffrey. "Christianity." Invitation to World Religions. Instructor's ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. Print.