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The truth of the nativity

Iammoney

Wealth magnet
The Truth of the Nativity
John Macarthur

The story of the first Christmas is so beloved that singers and storytellers across the centuries have embellished and elaborated and mythologized the story in celebration. However, most people now don't know which details are biblical and which are fabricated. People usually imagine the manger scene with snow, singing angels, many worshipers, and a little drummer boy. None of that is found in the biblical account.
Christmas has become the product of an odd mixture of pagan ideas, superstition, fanciful legends, and plain ignorance. Add to that the commercialization of Christmas by marketers and the politicization of Christmas in the culture wars, and you're left with one big mess. Let's try to sort it out. The place to begin is in God's Word, the Bible. Here we find not only the source of the original account of Christmas, but also God's commentary on it.
We can't know Jesus if we don't understand He is real. The story of His birth is no allegory. We dare not romanticize it or settle for a fanciful legend that renders the whole story meaningless. Mary and Joseph were real people. Their dilemma on finding no room at the inn surely was as frightening for them as it would be for you or me. The manger in which Mary laid Jesus must have reeked of animal smells. So did the shepherds, in all probability. That first Christmas was anything but picturesque.
But that makes it all the more wondrous. That baby in the manger is God! Immanuel!
That's the heart and soul of the Christmas message. There weren't many worshipers around the original manger-only a handful of shepherds. That's intriguing because shepherds were among the lowest and most despised social groups.


The very nature of shepherds' work kept them from entering into the mainstream of Israel's society. They couldn't maintain the ceremonial washings and observe all the religious festivals and feasts, yet these shepherds, just a few miles from Jerusalem, were undoubtedly caring for sheep that someday would be used as sacrifices in the temple. How fitting it is that they were the first to know of the Lamb of God!
More significant, they came to see Him the night he was born. No one else did. Though the shepherds went back and told everyone what they had seen and heard, and though "all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds" (v. 18), not one other person came to see firsthand.
Scripture doesn't describe how the shepherds' search for the baby Jesus actually unfolded, but it's not unreasonable to assume that they entered Bethlehem and asked questions: "Does anybody know about a baby being born here in town tonight?"


The shepherds might have knocked on several doors and seen other newborn babies before they found the special Child lying in the feeding trough. At that moment, those humble men knew for certain that the angels' announcement was a word from God. After their encounter with Joseph and Mary and Jesus, the shepherds couldn't help but tell others about what the angels had told them. They became, in effect, the first New Testament evangelists.


The shepherd's story is a good illustration of the Christian life. You first hear the revelation of the gospel and believe it (Romans 10:9-10). Then you pursue and embrace Christ. And having become a witness to your glorious conversion, you begin to tell others about it (Luke 2:17).
May God grant you the life-changing spiritual experiences and the ongoing attitude of enthusiasm and responsiveness that causes you to tell others that you, too, have seen Christ the Lord.
 

SND411

A True Soldier Never Dies
This is very true. The Nativity has turned into something a kin to the story of Santa Claus. This should not be.

I love the Nativity because it embraces one of the Gospels' doctrines about God favoring the Humble. Love it.
 

Poohbear

Fearfully Wonderfully Made
Good post, but not only the shepherds were there...the wise men were there when Jesus was born too (Matthew 2).
 

Crown

New Member
... but not only the shepherds were there...the wise men were there when Jesus was born too (Matthew 2).

I respectfully disagree with this.

At the nativity, The Star was born and the wise men have seen this in the east, and are come to worship him... Mat. 2.16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

The human imagination and tradition put the 2 events (nativity and wise men) together for the convenience of the representation, but there is more evidence that the wise men were not at the birth, but showed up at the scene up to two years afterward.

Maybe those links can help.

http://www.gotquestions.org/star-of-Bethlehem.html
http://www.gotquestions.org/three-wise-men.html
 
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Mrs.TheBronx

New Member
Trying to find where is says that they showed up 2 years later? Seems like the "got question" sites are speculatory statements. It says Jesus could have been 1 day or 2 years old etc. I was looking for where it said the wise men were not there on that night? But I do not see that in the text below.. Am i missing something?

Matthew 2 (New King James Version)

Matthew 2
Wise Men from the East
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 ‘ But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”[a]

7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
 

Crown

New Member
Trying to find where is says that they showed up 2 years later? Seems like the "got question" sites are speculatory statements. It says Jesus could have been 1 day or 2 years old etc. I was looking for where it said the wise men were not there on that night? But I do not see that in the text below.. Am i missing something?

Matthew 2 (New King James Version)

Matthew 2
Wise Men from the East
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 ‘ But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”[a]

7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

They were in the East when they have seen the star, the star announcing that The Star, Jesus, was born. The wise men had to travel, it took time. As I said, there is more evidence that the wise men showed up at the scene up to two years afterward. This is why all children from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men (Mat 2:16) were concerned by the anger of Herod.
(This has nothing to do with the salvation. It's just to correct a wrong belief).

We can agree to disagree.
 

Poohbear

Fearfully Wonderfully Made
I respectfully disagree with this.

At the nativity, The Star was born and the wise men have seen this in the east, and are come to worship him... Mat. 2.16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

The human imagination and tradition put the 2 events (nativity and wise men) together for the convenience of the representation, but there is more evidence that the wise men were not at the birth, but showed up at the scene up to two years afterward.

Maybe those links can help.

http://www.gotquestions.org/star-of-Bethlehem.html
http://www.gotquestions.org/three-wise-men.html
Where does www.gotquestions.org get their information? What makes it a credible site? What they said on the site isn't in the Bible. In Matthew 2:10-11, says that they actually saw "the young Child" (Jesus) with Mary, and they fell down and worshipped Him and gave Him gifts. You cannot deny that.
 

Poohbear

Fearfully Wonderfully Made
They were in the East when they have seen the star, the star announcing that The Star, Jesus, was born. The wise men had to travel, it took time. As I said, there is more evidence that the wise men showed up at the scene up to two years afterward. This is why all children from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men(Mat 2:16) were concerned by the anger of Herod.
(This has nothing to do with the salvation. It's just to correct a wrong belief).

We can agree to disagree.
How can you say you are correcting a wrong belief when the Bible doesn't indicate that the wise men showed up 2 years later? Where does gotquestions.org get that the wise men showed up 2 years later? Where is it in the Bible? If it's not in the bible, then what makes these Gotquestions.org scholars so credible?
 

Crown

New Member
Where does www.gotquestions.org get their information? What makes it a credible site? What they said on the site isn't in the Bible.
The site gotquestions is not my point, Poohbear.

In Matthew 2:10-11, says that they actually saw "the young Child" (Jesus) with Mary, and they fell down and worshipped Him and gave Him gifts. You cannot deny that.
Thank you for saying this : the young child and not the newborn.
It's normal for a child, new or young, to be with his mother.
Worship Him : not necessarily at his birth.

I can't deny that. Why would I?

There was no plane at this time, the wise men could not be in the East seeing the star announcing that Jesus was born and be with Jesus the day He was born.
As I said, we can agree to disagree.
 

Sharpened

A fleck on His Sword
They were in the East when they have seen the star, the star announcing that The Star, Jesus, was born. The wise men had to travel, it took time. As I said, there is more evidence that the wise men showed up at the scene up to two years afterward. This is why all children from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men (Mat 2:16) were concerned by the anger of Herod.
(This has nothing to do with the salvation. It's just to correct a wrong belief).
I just read this last might. It makes sense to me. Also, the wise men came into the house (Matthew 2:11) tells me they had moved at some point.
 
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