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Jesus was born, man still tries to deny it
First St Johns December 18, 2013
At this time of year, we want to bask in the lights, the familiarity, we know all the Bible passages, “unto you is born this day in the City of David”, “born of a virgin”, the children’s pageants, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…” We want to relax and enjoy, we don’t want to be hassled, yet the world has chosen Christmas as a battleground.
Jesus was born, to deny that is simply to deny reality, despite the whiney objections of those who live in a fantasy rejection of truth. We don’t know His birthday, about 1,500 years ago Jerome went through some tortured method to calculate Jesus’ birth and came up with December 21. Based on a long calculation of when Zechariah, John the Baptists father, was priest “This latter period corresponds to the end of September, nine months before the twenty-fourth of June, the date of John the Baptist’s birth. Hence the announcement to the Virgin Mary “in the sixth month” (Luke 1:28) of Elizabeth’s pregnancy corresponds to the twenty-fifth of March, so that the date of 25 December for Jesus’ birth can be seen to be historically accurate.” Now I wouldn’t bet the mortgage money on this, the rap against this being that it was simply the church overlaying Jesus’ birthday on top of the pagan holiday. I submit this for consideration, Yahweh demonstrated His superiority over the Egyptian “gods” in the Exodus, perhaps He does likewise with the pagan beliefs of Jesus’ time.
The all important point is this, Jesus was born, God did become man, Immanuel, God with us. Scripture doesn’t tell us when Jesus was born, so we have to decide when to observe one of the most important occasions in human history, the incarnation of God the Son, Savior of mankind. How could we skim over the birth of God as a man, Son of God, Son of man?
Yet many today would have us do that. There are a lot of people in the world, always have been, that like to play word games while accusing others of playing word games??? Somehow if we don’t know the date of Jesus’ birth, well then that invalidates His birth? There’s some strange logic out there and yet people are so sunk in their sin they refuse to accept reality. “You can’t say Merry Christmas, that’s offensive!” I honestly don’t know how people come to that conclusion, but I’m not going to worry about their uniformed prattling, this is what Jesus said: “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Matt 11:6) This may be harsh or blunt or not political, I really don’t care if other people are offended, there is way too much that people do in today’s world that is so over the top offensive, that if they are offended by “Merry Christmas”, they have other bigger problems. We have people today attacking Jesus in particular and Christianity in general as mythical. You’ve probably heard me say before, I just don’t have the kind of faith people do who believe that everything was magically created from nothing, or life on this planet came from inert material. These same people have the chutzpah to get in my face and jabber on about how I can believe in “myths”. Christmas is not a myth, we may not know the exact day/date/hour, we do know the place. It has been accepted for centuries that Mary, the Mother of Jesus related her entire perspective on the Nativity to St Luke, Luke has always been recognized as a very scholarly man and reputable historian. Neither of these people would have any reason to lie, many very learned people, some very prominent lawyers have looked at the Biblical accounts and have said that if these were entered into an American court of law today, there would be no basis whatsoever for that court not to accept what the Biblical accounts present as factual. We accept accounts from history that have a lot less basis in fact than Scripture. The world can play fast and loose with the facts, which it does, read today’s New York Times or Washington Post, watch CNN, but as J Vernon McGee writes: “The Bible is historical and factual. If you are sincere and want to give up your sins. God will make it real to you. If there is a veil over your eyes, it is not because you are mentally blind; it is because you do not want to give up your sins. When you and I are willing to do that, God will make the Bible real to us.” And there is the rub. Many people are convicted by the words of the Bible, they know that their life is swallowed up in sin, they are more in love, make more of an idol of their sin, then they do of God. They do not want to be held accountable, every time you say Merry Christmas, they hear Jesus Christ and they are convicted by that. They may not like it, they may be unpleasant to you, but just by your saying Merry Christmas they are hearing what they need to hear, what they probably don’t hear anywhere else, because heavens to Betsy, we don’t want to bring God into the workplace or the classroom or the government office. Why? Because we want to be happy in our sin and not have the Holy Spirit prod us to look at Him, when we’d rather look at whatever sin holds us in slavery. Peter tells us: “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Pet 1: 16-21) Peter had no reason to lie, Mary had no reason to lie, Luke had no reason to lie. They and so many of the others who witnessed the Lord, saw, first hand, Jesus’ power, His meekness and His glory. Cyril of Alexandria was a student of St John’s, he writes: “The constructions of the heretics are myths and human fantasies, which Paul wants us to avoid as he writes: “Warn a heretic once or twice and after that have nothing to do with him… we have the prophets who have proclaimed the same truth… the Word [Jesus] came to us. What the prophets foretold, Christ fulfilled when He appeared…”
It is up to us to stand up for Christ. Especially this time of the year when the entire world, believers, non-believers, those who are luke-warm, casual in their faith need to hear the reassurance of the fact that Chris was born, Emmanuel meaning God with us, second only to the crucifixion and resurrection, there was no more monumental event in history then the event where a man and his wife to be, still a virgin and yet bearing God the Son whom they were told to name Jesus, would struggle into an animal barn in Bethlehem, with angels watching over them, proclaiming the birth of God the Son.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amin and shalom
 http://www.bethlehem.custodia.org/default.asp?id=452 Franciscan missionaries serving in the Holy Land
 Dr J Vernon McGee “Through the Bible Commentary Series Second Peter” p 35
 Cyril of Alexandria quoted in “Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture New Testament XI” p 139