Jesus is the Reason for the Season
There was something very special about a baby named Jesus who was born over two thousand years ago that changed the course of history. Nevertheless, at the time of His birth, everyone’s attention was focused on Rome. Caesar’s decrees were of greater importance than a Jewish baby. No one was interested in a young couple that had gone on a long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be counted for the census.
Yet without realizing it, the mightiest of men were only errand boys for fulfilling the ancient prophets’ predictions. Jesus was more than just a baby. While the Romans were busy building a vast empire, God in human form arrived silently, on straw, in a stable, under a star. Through time and space God came down to earth—and that is the miracle of Christmas.
The coming of Jesus brought the good news of God’s love to the world—a bright light in the middle of darkness, a beacon of hope in the midst of despair, and a message of peace in a time of turmoil. God’s gift of Jesus came for everyone—for young and old, for the poor and for the wealthy, for people of all races and nations. And that is the reason for the Christmas season, this joyous time of year when we celebrate the birth of a blessed baby in a humble stable long ago.
The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1-20)*
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there came a decree from Augustus Caesar, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (This first taxing was made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3 Therefore went all to be taxed, every man to his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of a city called Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David,)
5 To be taxed with Mary that was given him to wife, which was with child.
6 And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her first begotten son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a cratch [manger], because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.
9 And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone about them, and they were sore afraid.
10 Then the Angel said unto them, Be not afraid: for behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people,
11 That is, that unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign to you, Ye shall find the babe swaddled, and laid in a cratch [manger].
13 And straightway there was with the Angel a multitude of heavenly soldiers, praising God, and saying,
14 Glory be to God in the high heavens, and peace in earth, and toward men good will.
15 And it came to pass when the Angels were gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said one to another, Let us go then unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed unto us.
16 So they came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph and the babe laid in the cratch [manger].
17 And when they had seen it, they published abroad the thing that was told them of that child.
18 And all that heard it, wondered at the things which were told them of the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all those sayings, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God, for all that they had heard and seen, as it was spoken unto them.
The Wise Men (Matthew 2:1-12)*
1 When Jesus then was born at Bethlehem in Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came Wise men from the East to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is the King of the Jews that is born? for we have seen his star in the East, and are come to worship him.
3 When king Herod heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And gathering together all the chief Priests and Scribes of the people, he asked of them, where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, At Bethlehem in Judea: for so it is written by the Prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem in the land of Judah, art not the least among the Princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come the governor that shall feed my people Israel.
7 Then Herod privily called the Wise men, and diligently inquired of them the time of the star that appeared,
8 And sent them to Bethlehem, saying, Go, and search diligently for the babe: and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come also, and worship him.
9 So when they had heard the king, they departed: and lo, the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, till it came and stood over the place where the babe was.
10 And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with an exceeding great joy,
11 And went into the house, and found the babe with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him, and opened their treasures, and presented unto him gifts, even gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And after they were warned of God in a dream, that they should not go again to Herod, they returned into their country another way.
When Jesus arrived, the world hardly noticed; but…
Wise men still seek Him. How about you?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16 NIV