The Truth About Christmas

The Angel Gabriel told Mary she was going to have a Son

Luke 1:26–33 (CSB) — 26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30 Then the angel told her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”

 

An angel told Joseph to name the baby Jesus

Matthew 1:20–21 (CSB) — 20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

 

God spoke to Joseph through dreams four different times

Matthew 1:20 (CSB) — 20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 2:13 (CSB) — 13 After they were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Get up! Take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. For Herod is about to search for the child to kill him.”

Matthew 2:19 (CSB) — 19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

Matthew 2:22 (CSB) — 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee.

 

Mary did NOT ride a donkey to Bethlehem

Despite what you see in all the pictures and movies, the Bible says nothing about Mary riding a donkey. Maybe she did . . . maybe she walked . . . maybe she rode a camel!

 

We DO NOT know the actual date of Jesus’ birth

The Bible does not give a date for when Jesus was born.  Some traditions see reason to accept December as a plausible date, while others see springtime as more likely.  Some argue that December 25 was selected to give Christians an alternative to the pagan celebration of the birth of the sol invictus – the unconquerable sun god (birth of the sun vs. birth of the Son).  Numerous other explanations exist.

 

The Angel and a great heavenly host appeared and sang “Glory to God in the highest!”

Luke 2:13–14 (CSB) — 13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: 14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!

 

The shepherds told others about Jesus

Luke 2:17 (CSB) — 17 After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child…

 

A little drummer boy DID NOT visit Jesus in the stable 😦

Perhaps the most heartbreaking myth to debunk is the myth of a little drummer boy.  Unfortunately, no such person exists in the Bible.

 

The wise men were NOT kings from the East

I’m really not sure how this one got started since there is absolutely no mention in the Bible of them being kings.

 

The names of the three wise men were NOT Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar

This is only tradition.  There is no mention of their names in the Bible, and, in fact, there is no mention that there were three of them!  Three is generally assumed because there were three gifts but there could have been two, four, or forty-two!

 

The wise men followed the star from the East straight to Bethlehem

Matthew 2:1 (CSB) — 1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem,

Matthew 2:9–10 (CSB) — 9 After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen at its rising. It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overwhelmed with joy.

 

The wise men brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh

Matthew 2:11 (CSB) — 11 Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

 

Mary, Joseph, and Jesus fled to Egypt until it was safe to return in fulfillment of Biblical prophecy

Matthew 2:14 (CSB) — 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night, and escaped to Egypt.

Hosea 11:1 (CSB) — 1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

 

The reason for all this was NOT simply so that we “would all be merry”

Luke 24:46–47 (CSB) — 46 He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, 47 and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Matthew 1:21 (CSB) — 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Mark 10:45 (CSB) — 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Luke 19:10 (CSB) — 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”

John 3:16 (CSB) — 16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9–11 (CSB) — 9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame,

2 Corinthians 9:15 (CSB) — 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

 

Merry Christmas

And remember, the true reason for the season is not a myth dressed in red, but a very real Jesus Christ whose red-blood was shed for you. 

 

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