Summary: A look at the Christmas Story but incorporating the verses of prophecy that relate to Christ's birth and the amazing probability that existed behind the events.
A PROPHETIC CHRISTMAS STORY
INTRO: Which is your favorite Christmas Show?
I will take some time to hear the responses from the students. For the record, my top 5 in order:
1. Charlie Brown Christmas Special
2. Little Drummer Boy
3. Christmas Vacation
4. A Christmas Story
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
*I would put Die Hard on this list, but it’s just set around Christmas and rated R, but if I’m being honest…
And now is time to be honest, and take an honest look at the birth of Christ and how it came to pass.
BIBLE VERSE: Matthew 1:18-2:18
A. Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
*This verse comes from Isaiah 7:14 which states: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
NOTES: The word “virgin” here is the word “paryenov” which not surprisingly means “virgin.” I say this to point out that virgin does NOT mean, “maid” or “queen” or “child mother” or anything else. It literally means without question, “virgin.”
Looking scientifically, is it possible to have a virgin birth? Is it possible for a woman never having been with a man actually giving birth? Well, unless someone calls artificial insemination a virgin birth, no way.
In doing research I did find an unusual story of a man having a child inside of him. Yeah, it was pretty weird. A man named Gavin Hyatt had stomachaches which turned pretty severe by age 30. When he went in to have a tumor removed, it was discovered that it was not a tumor, but instead that the man suffered from a weird medical illness in which his twin actually lived inside him and of course never developed. Believe it or not, other people from the world have had this same unpleasant experience/discovery. Yet, I hardly believe that this would constitute a virgin birth. If someone does consider it, then I have some beach front property to sell them in Northern Wisconsin.
Friends, this is what is called a “miracle.” And the fact that it is witnessed by some shepherds, later written about, and had no deniers of it during their lifetime, it is much more than some fabricated mythological story of an Egyptian god or something crazy like that. It’s real, it really happened.
BACK TO THE BIBLE
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
B. The Magi Visit the Messiah
2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,
*This verse comes from Micah 5:2 which states: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
NOTES: The fact is that the odds of a prophet living in 700 B.C. correctly predicting the birthplace of our savior defies all probability. Having said that, I did some research online to find the numerical odds of this happening and discovered that at least two different Universities believe this to be 1 in 300,000 possibility.
But what does that mean? First off, I need to point out that this is what I could call a random prophecy not an absolute prediction. Some real sharp people might detect the odds of a certain golf ball hitting a random blade of grass and find that that to shares some astronomical odds. But I want to point out that the golf ball hit off the tee has to land somewhere. Therefore, comparing that type of an occurrence to our Savior’s birth in Bethlehem is not a good comparison (after all, a Savior doesn’t technically have to born at all…if you were God…would you have come to earth in the form of a defenseless infant…no way).