I love the Christmas story as it is told in the Bible... in the books of Matthew and Luke!

But, I think the most famous telling of Jesus' birth is Luke 2...

From the Bible to Charlie Brown's Christmas Pageant, this story has been told for centuries!

But do you know why the birth of Jesus is only told in two of the four gospels (the story of Jesus living on earth)?  Very interesting...
(I know this is a long post, but I hope you will be blessed by reading it)

Here is the Birth of Christ as you probably have know it from Luke's gospel...

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.([And] this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. ) And all went to be taxed every one into his own city.And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David: ) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2: 1:7

Some people and "scholars" use the fact that Christ's birth only appears in two of the fours gospels to discount the veracity of the Word of God. But I'm here to tell you, this fact actually shows that the Bible is indeed God's absolute TRUTH!

When we understand God's purpose for inspiring men to write the books of the bible... His love story and message to the world... we can understand that message much better!


Did you know that each book of the bible was written with a central message in mind!  God wanted to convey a certain point... a theme... to the people of the world. He did this by inspiring a human to be His scribe to tell all the people of the earth something very very important!

It's also important to remember that when we read these ancient books of the bible we are reading the words of God that were written over a span of 1,600 years by 40 different inspired authors from 3 continents who used 3 different languages!  The bible was not written all at once. It is a revelation (revealing something in surprising ways a little at a time)!

The flavor of the times, the culture and the traditions of men are evident in the words... but the truth, message and purpose for writing each and every book of the bible is wholly and holy...God inspired!  The bible is "GOD BREATHED"(2 Tim 3:15)!


AMAZING!

So why IS such an important account as the birth of EMANUEL ( God with us)... Jesus (God saves).. The Messiah (the anointed to be king) only in two of the four books that tell the story of Jesus' life on earth and the reason He came?

The answer is AMAZING!  


Remember I said that God had a special theme... a special purpose... a special message he wanted the world to know when He inspired each book of the bible?

Well, the 4 gospels... Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are no different!


The theme of of the book of Matthew is...

BEHOLD THE KING OF THE JEWS

God wanted the world... and especially the Jews of the day... to know that Jesus was THE KING OF THE JEWS!

Matthew is a very "Jewish" book. There are more references to the Old Testament in this book than in the the other gospels. References of prophesy about the coming King Of The Jews who would set up an eternal kingdom and rule and reign forever! And this was very very important to the Jews!

The first words of the book of Matthew read...

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,


The nation Israel, for centuries and centuries, had been waiting for this special king! Even more so since their captivity in 722 BC.

To be a king of Israel one had to meet certain requirements...God's requirements!

1~ one had to be a male
2~ one had to be a direct descendant of King David (God's first choice for king of the Jews) and one had to be a direct descendant to the kingly line.
3~ one had to be a descendant of Abraham... the first Hebrew (another word for Jew)
4~ one had to be a direct descendant of Abraham's son Jacob (who's name was changed to ISRAEL by God)
5~ one had to come from the "tribe" (or family descendants) of Judah 


In the first words of the book of Matthew... this book written especially for the Jews... who's theme is "BEHOLD THE KING OF THE JEWS"... God starts with Jesus' genealogy right away! God builds a case that Jesus is...

1~ a male 
2. He is the "son" or ancestor of David through the kingly line
3~ and He is a direct descendant of father Abraham
4~ and a direct descendant of Jacob
5~ and Jesus is a direct descendant of Judah (Judah means Lion... and infers king)

There is so much more I could tell you that would knock your socks off about how wonderfully God put together facts that proved Jesus, and Jesus alone was the Anointed One (Messiah) to be THE KING OF THE JEWS... the special and much awaited KING. The KING that would rule and reign planet earth forever and ever! But it would take too long for one post!

As I read the first chapter of Matthew I get so filled with emotion and love... when I see that big long line of genealogy... of names I don't necessarily know and certainly can't pronounce... I see God laying out the facts of Jesus' right to be THE KING OF THE JEWS. All Jews in good standing knew their genealogy at that time... and to be a king you had to meet the kingly credentials set forth by God!

The whole book of Matthew hinges on the fact that Jesus is KING OF THE JEWS.

So, we can see why the genealogy and birth of Jesus would be so important and recounted in the book of Matthew!

Now let's take a look at Luke...

What reason would there be  for God retelling the story of Jesus' birth in the book of Luke? Again we have to look at the theme or purpose for the book.

The theme for the book of Luke is...

BEHOLD, THE PERFECT MAN

God wants the world to know that Jesus is a human. All human! 

But why?

This brings tears to my eyes... Jesus came to earth to die. That was Jesus' main purpose for living.
He died so we could be restored to a perfect and intimate relationship to God. A relationship that was broken because of our sin (turning away from God and doing our own thing and not God's).

Now stay with me... God says in the Book of Romans that the 

WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH... Romans 6:23

Both physical and spiritual death! 

And God also says that...

LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD... Leviticus 17:11

When we sin we bring death down upon us!

God's system for the consequence of sin is death. That's why we all die! We all sin... so we all die!

But, our death does not make amends for our sins. So without the right "payment" we have no hope for life... for a life of intimate connection with God. It is God who is LIFE! When we sin we walk away from LIFE!

But God, who loves us more than we can think or comprehend so wants us to live eternally with Him, devised a saving plan for all of us!!!!

He would send Jesus, God in the flesh, down to earth to live as a real man and He would save us through paying the price for our sins!

He would die in our place and shed his blood in our stead!

But not just any blood! His perfect sinless blood. 


Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer! I love this very important concept! Kinsman means one like us... a human. One that is our kin or relative. Redeemer means someone who buys something back for a price. Someone who buys something back and gives it to it's rightful owner!

Jesus, one like us, came to planet Earth and bought us out of the clutches of sin and death and eternal separation from God with his sinless human blood! He died and shed his blood to pay the price we could not pay with our sinful blood for our sins and to give us back to our owner, God... to have an incredible, intimate relationship with Him as His child!



The book of Luke is all about Jesus' humanity. A perfect human able to reunite us to God!

In Luke, God proves that Jesus was born a human by a Jewish girl named Mary!

God's beautiful story of  Jesus' birth is proof that Jesus came to earth as a human!


SELAH!

A word that appears in the bible and means that something is so awesome that we should stop and think about it for awhile! So I say to you...

SELAH!





Now let's just take a very quick look why the other two gospels, Mark and John DON'T tell the Christmas story!


The theme for the book of Mark is

BEHOLD THE SUFFERING SERVANT

It portrays Jesus as a servant...

It was important for God to let the world know that Jesus was a servant to Him and also to all mankind!

Now to a Jew of that day, a servant's genealogy or the circumstances of his birth was not important!
 So Jesus' birth was not included

God wants us to know Jesus and His perfect servant's spirit as he lived on Earth... one who does the will of His Father and serves humanity.


And the last gospel to be written was the book of John who's theme is


BEHOLD, THE SON OF GOD!!!!!!!

The book of John deals with Jesus' deity. Jesus and only Jesus is GOD IN THE FLESH!

God does not need you to know that Jesus was born a baby... he covered that in two other gospels, but God is all about wanting you to know that Jesus IS GOD! Maybe that is why I have taught John so many times... I stand in AWE!




I hope this builds your faith in the veracity of the Bible and amazes you... I hope you stand in Awe today of  what a perfect and wonderful God we serve!

And I hope you stand, no... bend your knee and kneel to THE ALL HUMAN, ALL GOD, ALL SERVING, 
KING OF THE JEWS...

JESUS!

May you celebrate Jesus' birth with a new love and devotion!

I pray this Advent season Jesus' birth has a deeper and awesome meaning!





 
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