Bible Christmas Story
Bible Christmas Story - The Characters
The most amazing truths of the Bible Christmas story revolve around events that make no earthly or human sense. Discovering the real Christmas message requires looking beyond the all-too-familiar holiday experiences. “Was there a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and . . . all His love [was poured] into the womb of a young girl”?1 You can read the account of Jesus' birth from the Bible in Luke 2:1-21.
The individuals in the Bible Christmas story should surprise us. They are unlikely recipients of angelic declarations. Yet through ordinary people such as us, God creates extraordinary events:
- The Shepherds – Shepherds were seen as rough, uncultured, untrustworthy fellows. Because of their poor credibility, shepherds weren’t allowed to testify in court. Yet, the first account of Christ’s birth was from the shepherds, who were “glorifying and praising God” (Luke 2:20).
- Mary – What had Mary achieved in her 12–14 years to merit a greater honor and blessing than any other woman in the Bible? Mary’s record is brief among that of Sarah, Esther, Naomi, Ruth, or Hannah. Simply, Mary fell into favor with God as He extended His grace to this young woman.
- Gabriel – When the archangel shared God’s promise of a son, the aged temple priest, Zechariah, doubted God (Luke 1:18). Zechariah is struck mute. Yet, with faith, young Mary, humbly receives Gabriel’s great proclamation, and responds, “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). Mary’s song, “The Magnificat,” reflects the intimate acquaintance that she had with God.
Bible Christmas Story - The Statements
It is easy for the words of the Bible Christmas story to be overshadowed by appropriate clichés: “Jesus is the reason for the season,” or “Keep the Christ in Christmas.” Let us shine light again on the amazing truth that, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
- “God with Us” (Matthew 1:23) – In Exodus, God appeared over us, in the cloud, as a pillar of fire, or on the mountain. But now, in a common feeding trough, He became Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
- “Good News of Great Joy” (Luke 2:10) – The good news transcended politics, languages, and geography. A Savior is given to all mankind, making us the recipients of God’s good will and favor.
- “Lying in a Manger” (Luke 2:12) – We must marvel at the humble entrance of the Eternal, Almighty Creator, God, into our world. The Savior of mankind, found lying in a manger (feeding-trough), thus giving the shepherds a specific sign to guide them to the Christ-Child.
Bible Christmas Story - The Uniqueness
When we stop to consider the Bible Christmas story, we might ask, “What’s wrong with this picture?”
- In the world that God created, there was no room for Him at the inn or anywhere. To have “God with us,” the God-Child entered the world in a place where few would even notice.
- God’s return to His creation wasn’t “good news” to everyone. No ruler was willing to abdicate their throne. No palace opened their gates to welcome the King of kings or Prince of Peace.
- God, who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and all-righteous, longed to touch everyone -- the beggar, the prostitute, the leper -- presenting Himself, a helpless infant, “lying in a manger.” Common folks can never visit the palace of a newborn king, uninvited. But kings and princes can visit mangers.
1 Madeleine L’Engle, Bright Evening Star, (Crosswicks, Inc., 1997).
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