The Truth About Christmas

Christmas

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

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the 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; his kingdom will never end.”
Luke 1:26-33

An angel told Joseph to name the baby Jesus.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[a] because he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:20-21

God spoke to Joseph through dreams four different times.

Matthew 1:20, 2:13, 19, 22

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. Various tradition says it was most likely in the spring or fall. One popular explanation says 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!”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, 
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:13-14

The shepherds told others about Jesus

17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,

Luke 2:17

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

Sorry, no such person 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 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.

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

Matthew 2:1, 9-10

They saw the star in the East, went to Jerusalem, had an ill-advised powwow with the psychotic King Herod, found out from the scribes that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and then the star reappeared and led them to Bethlehem where Jesus was.

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

11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11

This part of the common story is actually true!

Mary, Joseph, and Jesus fled to Egypt until it was safe to return.

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,

Matthew 2:14

This fulfilled the prophecy in Hosea 11:1 in which God said “I will call my Son out of Egypt”

1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.

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

46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Luke 24:46-47

Matthew 1:21, Mark 10:45, Luke 19:10, John 3:16, Romans 10:9-11 and II Corinthians 9:15

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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