Christmas is not about a baby in a manger

Christmas is not about the birthday of a sweet little baby; it’s not a birthday party. It is about an infinitely more glorious event.

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Mary’s Boy Child, sung by Celtic Woman.

December is a month of lights, caroling, manger scenes, and Nativity plays. Scenes of the Baby Jesus can be observed everywhere, from hospitals to homes to songs playing in the local grocery store. However, as cute of a thought it is, Christmas is not about a baby in a manger. It is about the glorious event of Incarnation, God putting on human flesh and stepping into His creation. The Lord Jesus did not come to be a baby that everyone googoos and gagas over for 2000 years.

The Lord Jesus was not merely a cute baby or a good and moral teacher of practical human wisdom. In Mark 10:17-18, we read a statement our Lord makes to a rich young ruler:

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Contrary to the conclusion of many unwise readers of this passage, the Lord’s questioning of the use of the term “good” was not an admission of being a flawed human like everyone else; such a conclusion is erroneous within the context of the passage. Rather, the Lord is accepting the title of address, but only with the public caveat that requires the person addressing him to understand that if the person speaking to him really believes Him to be “good” then He must also be addressed as God. The Lord Jesus will not content Himself with being considered merely “a good moral teacher.” We see this specifically in Luke 6:46 in which He says:

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

In the culture of first-century Israel, to regard Jesus as Lord was to address Him with the same title of respect that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all of God’s people used in addressing God Himself. The Lord’s question emphasizes the hypocrisy of addressing Him as if one claimed He was God, but did not intend to obey Him as God.

Christmas is not about the birthday of a sweet little baby; it’s not a birthday party. The actual birth most likely took place in early to middle September. Christmas is about an infinitely more glorious event called the Incarnation, the Incarnation of God Himself as a Man. The Lord Jesus is now not only fully God, but also fully Man. The Scripture says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).

There were no reindeer, lights, decorated trees, mall Santas, caroling, mulled juice, cider, or eggnog; it was a totally different culture and a different time. Yet, the baby in that manger was no mere baby, but the transcendent God of Creation Who stepped into the world to break down “the middle wall of partition” between all the varying cultures “to make in Himself of twain one new man” (Ephesians 2:14-15). Apart from the Messiah, all cultures on earth are separated by very different personal, family, and even national traditions. Yet, in Jesus Christ, the large cultural gaps disappear and even the oddest traditions to us will give us joy if we are with other believers in the Lord.

Fir trees are consistently used in Scripture in the context of worshiping the one true God. The next time you look at your Christmas tree this year, perhaps think of this passage from Second Samuel 6:5, the first time fir trees feature in Scripture while David was taking the ark of the covenant up to Jerusalem:

And David and all the horses of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on cornets, and on cymbals.

Fir trees, in Hebrew broshim, also make up part of the temple itself (1 Kings 6), and, following through the Bible, represent upright and honorable worshipers of God. Hosea 14:8 says:

Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree.

This marvelous, evergreen tree that God created wonderfully pictures righteous believers and eternal life. This is exactly what the incarnated Messiah came to give us a gift – His own righteousness and life with Him forever.


The latter portion of the article about fir trees taken from ONE FOR ISRAEL (Messianic Jews in Israel)

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