Consider the facts:
- Mary was most likely in her upper teenage years based on when women of that day got married.
- Joseph as likely young as well though might have been a little older. It seems that he has died by the time of Jesus' earthly ministry whether that was due to age we do not know.
- Joseph and Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census because he was of the line of David.
- Joseph's extended family would have been from the same lineage and should have had to be there as well for the census.
So, I have always pictured Mary and Joseph alone laying the baby in the manger. Until the shepherds come along a little later. But are we missing some people? I can think of three possibilities:
- Joseph was an only child who's parents had passed away. (Unlikely but possible.)
- Joseph's family was also in town but had disowned them due to Mary being pregnant out of wed lock. Would they really take the last places in the inn and reject a pregnant woman from their homes? Maybe.
- Joseph's family was right there with them and helped with the delivery.
Having just witnessed the birth of my son and what transpires, having women around who have gone through it would have been a great help to Mary and Joseph. So I am thinking that our nativity scenes might have another problem besides the wise men being there. (They showed up about two years later). I think we might need to add in some extended family. What do you think? Any scriptures on the subject that I am missing?