Celebrate Jesus’ birth confidently

All my life I have heard and read so many people trying to disprove the Christmas story or aspects of it. Incredible amounts of resources and time have gone into such efforts. Frankly, such people are missing the point and wasting their time. While his birth is certainly a miracle, the fact that Jesus Christ lived at all is significantly more important than whether his birth story is embellished, or even a complete fable.

Thousands of people witnessed the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and many of them documented it. Besides the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John there are other writings including the Gnostic gospels. The first known writing about Jesus was in the first century from noted Jewish historian Flavian Josephus. He wrote: “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man.” He went on from there. Josephus also wrote about Jesus’ brother James, “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ”. Josephus was born in 35 AD, was Jewish, and would later become a Roman citizen. So he wasn’t a Jesus follower (as they were called then) and had no agenda in promoting the story of Jesus.

Jesus didn’t start his ministry until he was approximately 30 years old. Prior to that he was little known outside his tiny village of Nazareth, and was mostly known there as Joseph the Carpenter’s son. The point is, by the time of his death and resurrection 30 years later, few beyond Mary, his mother, were present before or during the birth of Jesus. So it’s hard to imagine how the Christmas story came to be. The fact that it was inspired is indisputable and inspiring. But it’s details I have always maintained are not what’s most important.

He was born. And he did live. And his message to love one another and to forgive is a message that resonates and who can argue it’s importance?

So this weekend we celebrate his birth as we should. But remember his life, his message and his miraculous resurrection above all things. And honor him.

I welcome comments and am eager to hear different perspectives.

God Bless.

Merry Christmas

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