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Summary: Christmas is a miraculous time of year. Grouches are turned into givers. Cynics are turned into softies. But this morning we’re going to look at the real miracles of Christmas. Advent is one of the times when we are confronted with what Christians really

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MIRACLES OF CHRISTMAS

What A Difference Christmas Makes

Christmas is a miraculous time of year. Grouches are turned into givers. Cynics are turned into softies. But this morning we’re going to look at the real miracles of Christmas.

Advent is one of the times when we are confronted with what Christians really believe. This morning we will look at the very heart of what the followers of Christ called the "good news." We will look at the three miracles of Christmas.

MIRACLE #1: GOD CAME TO EARTH

Many people believe that Jesus was a good man and an effective teacher. Some believe he was a great prophet of God. Some even believe that he was a powerful angel. Of course, Jesus never claimed to be any of those things. What he claimed was far more disturbing.

1. He claimed that he had the power to grant his followers eternal life (John 10:28).

2. He claimed to have the power to forgive sins (Mark 2) and to answer prayers offered in his name (John 14:13-14).

3. He claimed that he and God were one (John 10:30). In fact, he told his closest friends that if you had seen him, you had seen God (John 14:9).

4. He claimed to be eternal (John 8:58).

5. He claimed that the work and power of God’s kingdom was manifested in his life (Luke 2: 18f and Mark 1:15).

6. And he claimed that relationship with God depended on believing in him (John 14:6).

Understandably, his friends and followers were often confused by these claims. It’s almost like they were saying to themselves, "Surely he didn’t say what I think he said." In fact, up to the very end, doubt and confusion was still very much a part of their response to Jesus. They all deserted him on the night he died. And one of his close friends, Thomas, heard the report of Jesus’ resurrection and refused to believe it. "Unless I see it myself and touch his wounds myself, I will not believe." At that moment, Jesus showed up. And here’s the important part. Thomas saw Jesus, touched his wounds and did the only thing any honest seeker could do. He fell on his knees and worshipped him as God.

As God … In case you missed it, that is what Jesus’ claims amount to. He was claiming to be God. The disciples may have been confused but the religious authorities of his day were not. They did not miss the significance of his claims. On at least two occasions they wanted to kill him for blasphemy.

Jesus did not claim to be prophet, an angel, or great religious teacher. He claimed to be God. In this claim, Jesus was either a LUNATIC, A LIAR OR HE WAS TELLING THE TRUTH. The evidence of his life certainly does not support the view that Jesus was a lunatic or a liar. In fact, no one believes that. Obviously, something extraordinary was happening in Jesus. It was God coming to earth.

And this first miracle makes Christianity different from all other religions.

Listen to the Bible’s testimony concerning Jesus:

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him." (Colossians 1:15-16)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all people." (John 1:1-4)

MIRACLE #2: GOD BECAME A MAN

The second miracle goes along with the first. God came to earth, but not in some flashy way. He came in a simple way. It all started on one cool, clear Christmas Eve. The first miracle of Christmas was that it was God who came to earth. The second miracle of Christmas was how He came. God became a man. He became like one of us. He became a human being.

This, of course, explains the confusion of his first followers. Certainly, in some ways Jesus was unlike any man they had ever known. And yet in other ways, in most ways, he was exactly like every man they had ever known. It took a while to understand that heaven’s glory was masquerading in earthen goofiness, that all the power of heaven was veiled in human skin.

Paul put it like this: "Christ, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on the cross!"

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