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Celebrating the Birth of Christ

In this season, many nations around the world prepare to celebrate the winter holidays, including Christmas on the 25th of December. Many celebrate this holiday for different reasons. For most people the traditions of Santa Claus, gift giving under the Christmas tree and stockings, is the reason for Christmas. Christians, while keeping these same traditions, will add that it is the celebration of Christ’s birthday and that Jesus is the reason for the season.

As Christians, is it possible to know what Jesus thought regarding His first coming? Also, what is His perspective about being born?

As Christians, is it possible to know what Jesus thought regarding His first coming? Also, what is His perspective about being born?

In the Bible, one of the earliest mentions of Jesus’ birth begins in the Old Testament: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel,” – Isaiah 7:14. This is fulfilled in the New Testament in Matthew 1:23. Historically, Jesus of Nazareth was born 2,000 years ago. Notice, it is not superfluous that Jesus was called Immanuel, meaning “God with us” (Matt 1:23). According to the scriptures, Jesus was God in the flesh. But not everyone saw Jesus this way during His life and ministry: “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” – Mark 6:3. Many saw Jesus only as a natural person, being physically born of his mother (Mary) and having brothers and sisters like anyone else. Therefore, Jesus was depicted in two ways: born as the invisible image of God vs. a person who was physically seen with the natural eyes, meaning only born of human nature. In Matthew 1:23, Mark 6:3, and throughout Jesus’ life, He demonstrated He was the Word (God) made flesh (John 1:14) or as He declares of His kingdom as “not of this world” (John 18:36). Jesus’ first coming was about revealing the kingdom of Heaven to those who believed: “It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,” – Matthew 13:11.

As Jesus was seen either according to flesh or the Spirit of His divine nature, Jesus taught that there were two types of births: one of flesh and one of the Spirit. It is known that all people are born of the flesh, but in the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” – John 3:3. He goes on to explain that being born again means to be born of water and Spirit (John 3:7). Jesus is revealing a mystery; His physical birth did not make Him divine, it was His nature that was born of water and Spirit. This is the birth Jesus teaches and made the way for us to have, not to remain in the flesh only, but for us to be born again of the Spirit.

Peter in the Gospel has a revelation of who Jesus is (Matthew 16:16-17), because he was born again of Spirit. He explains, “Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,” – 1 Peter 1:23. To be born again, it is through the incorruptible seed, which Peter says is the eternal Word of God. The Apostle Paul says that seed is Christ (Galatians 3:16). We can conclude to be born again is to have the nature of Christ born in us.

“God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Colossians 1:27 

What Jesus says about Himself in the Bible and being born, is not the Christmas story.

What Jesus says about Himself in the Bible and being born, is not the Christmas story. The Christmas story centers around Jesus in the flesh, as the Bible centers around it is not about seeing Jesus according to the flesh, but that we can receive a revelation of Jesus and become born again, from the state of our sinful nature to the divine nature of Christ. According to the Gospel, Jesus in the flesh and being born physically is something everyone saw and took part in, even those who didn’t believe. On the contrary, those who have eyes to see and ears to hear what Jesus is teaching, He says are blessed (Matthew 13:15) and received the birth Christ in their lives. 

“He who was the Son of God became the Son of man, that man, having been taken into the Word, and receiving the adoption, might become the son of God.” – Irenaeus, 200 A.D. [1]

Blessings,
The Harvesters

References:
1. Irenaeus- Against Heresies, Ch. XIX
2. All Scripture was from the NKJV of the Bible