The 10 Most Important People in the Christmas Story

The 10 Most Important People in the Christmas Story

Their lives sit open for ministry. Have you noticed? Sometimes I read their stories fluently but skim over the depth they offer. But when I look a little further … oh my. The people of the Christmas story bring ministry and hope to life.

Of course there’s Mary and Joseph, Jesus, and the angels, but others await with their stories and ministry. God names them. They number many. Following are ten of them – with a bonus addition or two. Let’s take a look.

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  • 1. Isaiah

    1. Isaiah

    Centuries before Jesus’ entrance into the world, a prophet named Isaiah announced the Messiah’s future coming. How appropriate it is that his name means “the LORD saves.” 

    How our Father inserted the prophetic—the foretelling of hope coming to all mankind – centuries (CENTURIES!) before it came to fruition astounds me. Perhaps it—He—amazes you too.  

    “For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). 


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  • 2. Micah

    2. Micah

    A contemporary of Isaiah, Micah also offered insight into the coming of Jesus – years before Jesus’ birth. Sound familiar? Micah means, “Who is like God?” Isn’t that a delightful touch to the spiritual taste buds?

    Micah chimes the “who” and “where” concerning the Messiah’s birth. He assures a little town called Bethlehem and a clan called Judah will gather our attention. He’s specific; but then again, so is our Father. We have a God who cares about specifics—the “who” and “where” of life. 

    “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, being small among the clans of Judah  out of you one will come out to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings out are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).


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  • 3. Gabriel

    3. Gabriel

    Call this one expected. And even though he’s not a man, but rather an angel, how could we ignore his life-altering words? Hello, Gabriel. 

    The magnitude of this angel’s sentences leave a person wide-mouthed. “Don’t be afraid … you have found favor with God.” Soak in the reassurance and be astounded.

    “The angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and give birth to a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’ He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom’” (Luke 1:30-33).


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  • 4. Elizabeth

    4. Elizabeth

    She’s another expected list-maker: Elizabeth. This woman grew excited about Jesus. She knew how to call out blessings. And that she did. 

    How are we excited about Jesus? What blessings sit on our lips today?

    She called out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42). 


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  • 5. Mary & Joseph

    5. Mary & Joseph

    Obedience displays its power beautifully through Mary and Joseph—and often in the midst of tedious situations. What bravery! With hearts leaning toward and yearning for a loving Father, they trusted God Almighty, offering their obedience. As a result, they experienced his faithfulness firsthand.

    “Mary said, ‘Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.’ The angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38).

    “Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife to himself” (Matthew 1:24). 


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  • 6. The Magi

    6. The Magi

    The Magi are one of my favorites on this list. Not only were they excited to worship the newborn King and journey to find Him, but they also tuned ears to hear God clearly. Our Father spared their lives as a result, and hope became a reality for all of us as Jesus lived and grew.

    “They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Being warned in a dream that they shouldn’t return to Herod, they went back to their own country another way” (Matthew 2:11-12).


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  • 7. King Herod

    7. King Herod

    Nice and Herod go together about as well as oil and water. This king considered Jesus an enemy, seeking to destroy the Messiah’s life from His first breath on earth. 

    The man’s not notable, but here’s what is: God proved trustworthy even in the face of an evil man. He faithfully guided Joseph and Mary. He faithfully led the Magi. Truly, no man, not even King Herod, can come against God Almighty. 

    “Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him” (Matthew 2:13).


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  • 8. Simeon

    8. Simeon

    Simeon held hope. He believed. He waited with great expectation. Eventually, he found that expectation fulfilled as he stood gazing at the Messiah. But it didn’t end with a gaze. Simeon also spoke a difficult prophecy to Mary, one that came true years later on the cross. Our God remains faithful. 

    “Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35). 


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  • 9. Anna

    9. Anna

    Do you know Anna’s story? A widow from her early married years, this prophetess found space worshiping God—day and night. Call her fervent. Call her faithful. Certainly call her a woman of God.

    We find thankfulness and hope on the lips of Anna. She spoke freely and with excitement about Jesus. Thankfulness overflowed her verbal repertoire. Her boldness certainly waved a banner for the Lord.

    “Coming up at that very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). 


    Photo credit: Pexels

  • 10. Jesus & You

    10. Jesus & You

    Let’s not forget the main star of our Christmas story: Jesus. Without him, Christmas vanishes. But with him? Love remains.

    Take another look. Ask one more question (okay, maybe two). What about you and me? On Christmas day and beyond, how will Jesus’ love live in us? 

    May we all accept the Messiah as Savior and live in his love, spreading forth the good news from here to eternity. Merry Christmas!  

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

    Kristi Woods, writer and speaker, is passionate about women walking deeper with God. She clicks words of encouragement at and is published in both Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions and Military Families as well as on Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today. Kristi, her husband, and their three children survived a nomadic, military lifestyle, and have set roots in Oklahoma. Connect with Kristi here: Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

    This article is part of our larger Christmas and Advent resource library centered around the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!

    What is Christmas? Understanding History, Origin and Traditions
    Christmas Eve History and Traditions
    The History of Santa Claus: Origin of St. Nicholas & Christmas Traditions
    When Was Jesus Born? History of December 25th
    Where Was Jesus Born? 5 Things to Know about Bethlehem
    The Birth of Jesus: Bible Story and Scripture Verses

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