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Reflection on the Present Times and The Life and Times of Jesus | Amb. Laura Q. Del Rosario, MA, MEd.

The Christmas story continues with the story on “the killing of the innocents”. King Herod ordered the killing of all boys under the age of two born in the Bethlehem area after the Magi had informed him that a baby boy destined to become king of the Jews had been born in the city. King Herod died in 4 B.C.E. (Before Common Era).  He was succeeded by Herod Antipas. It is therefore assumed that Jesus was born around 6 and 4 B.C.E.   


Why is the date 4 B.C.E. important? Because it was the year Sepphoris was destroyed, possibly the year of Jesus’s birth. Sepphoris is believed to be the birthplace of Mary.  (According to old tradition, however, she was born in Jerusalem.) Sepphoris was “an urbane center” just four kilometers from Nazareth, a walkable distance. It was very likely that Jesus and Joseph often went there to do some artisan work when Jesus was a very young man.


As a young boy, Jesus must have grown up hearing about the fierce battle in Sepphoris, how it was destroyed by the Romans during the rebellion of Judas of Galilee and again 10 years later in 6 C.E. (Common Era) when Jesus was around 10 years old.



Growing up with constant public discussion on the destruction of Sepphoris with the rape and killing of the Jewish women and their husbands and children would have been in the young Jesus’s mind all the time. Thus, as a Teacher going around Galillee, where Sepphoris was located, Jesus spoke often about peace, forgiveness, and love (Love the other as thyself).


More than 2,000 years later, the brutal episode in Sepphoris is with us again—in Gaza and Israel.  Like the people of Sepphoris during the birth of Jesus, these peoples are fighting and crying for their right to live in freedom, in dignity, and in peace without any threat to their lives and way of life.


Gaza 2023

As we go through the Christmas ritual of merry-making in the midst of the painful events around us, and as we think of Jesus’s birth and death for us, let us reflect on the shortest and saddest verse in the Bible. “And Jesus wept”: John 11:35.


Jesus weeping



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