What does the Bible say about Christmas?
How should Christmas be celebrated? What is advent all about?
Has someone ever told you that Christmas is a “pagan holiday” and shouldn’t be celebrated by Christians?
What does the Bible say about Christmas? That is what we will learn today.
I encourage you to not only use this article to share the Christmas story of Jesus, but also to use these Scriptures in your Christmas cards.
Christian quotes about Christmas
“May the beautiful lights of every Christmas season remind us of Him who is the source of all light.”
“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” -Corrie Ten Boom
“The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth – the very thing the whole story has been about.” C. S. Lewis
Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love Divine; Love was born at Christmas; Star and angels gave the sign.”
“Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.”
What is advent?
Advent means “coming,” and the advent season is a time of celebrating Jesus’ first coming to earth, born as a baby in Bethlehem to live and die for us. It also looks forward to His glorious return when the dead in Christ will be resurrected and believers who are alive will be caught up to meet Him in the air.
Advent is celebrated in many Christian homes and churches in the four Sundays before Christmas day with the advent wreath and candles. The wreath is round, with no beginning or end, and made of evergreen branches, representing God’s eternal nature and His unending love.
The candles (usually four) point to Jesus, the light of the world. A new candle is lit on each Sunday prior to Christmas. The meaning of each candle varies, but for some people, the first candle represents hope given by the prophets, the second candle represents Bethlehem and God’s love, the third candle represents the shepherds’ joy, and the fourth candle represents the angels and “peace on earth.”
1. Isaiah 40:9-11 “You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” 10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. 11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
2. Micah 5:2 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.”
3. Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
4. Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
5. Isaiah 11:1-4 “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.”
6. Luke 1:30-33 “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
7. Luke 2:6-7 “And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born; 7 and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.”
8. Malachi 4:5-6 “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. 6 His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
9. Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”
10. Deuteronomy 18:15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear.”
11. Isaiah 9:1-2 “Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. 2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.”
12. Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.”
13. Psalm 8:2 “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”
What is Christmas about in the Bible?
Christmas is all about the good news that the angels announced to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds: the birth of the Savior of the world.
The love of God is revealed through Jesus who existed as God from infinity but laid aside His privileges and took on the form of a servant when He became a man.
Christmas celebrates the incarnation of Jesus – born of Mary, who became pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was fully man and fully God!
14. Luke 2:11 “Today your Savior was born in David’s town. He is the Messiah, the Lord.”
15. Zechariah 2:10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.”
16. John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
17. Revelation 12:5 “She gave birth to a son, a boy, who is to rule all the nations with an iron scepter. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne.”
18. Matthew 2:11 “Entering the house where the baby and Mary, his mother, were, they threw themselves down before him, worshiping. Then they opened their presents and gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
19. Matthew 1:18 “This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
20. Hebrews 2:9 “What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone.”
21. John 3:16–17 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave* his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
22. Romans 5:8 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
23. 1 Peter 2:24 “Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross so that freed from our sins, we could live a life that has God’s approval. His wounds have healed you.”
24. Peter 3:18 “For indeed Christ died for sins once for all, the Just and Righteous for the unjust and unrighteous [the Innocent for the guilty] so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit.”
25. 1 Timothy 1:15-17 “Here’s a statement worthy of trust: Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, came into the world to save sinners, and I am the worst of them all. 16 But it is for this reason I was given mercy: by displaying His perfect patience in me, the very worst of all sinners, Jesus the Anointed could show that patience to all who would believe in Him and gain eternal life. 17 May the King eternal, immortal, and invisible—the one and only God—now be honored and glorified forever and ever. Amen.”
26. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
27. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
28. Galatians 4:4 “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.”
29. John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
30. Zechariah 12:10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 1the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”
31. Philippians 2:6-8 “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Should Christians celebrate Christmas?
Heaven celebrated the birth of Jesus, and so should we! God sent His angel to the shepherds, and the glory of the Lord surrounded them as the angel announced good news of great joy for all the people! “There has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) Then there was a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:14) What a celebration!
The magi celebrated Jesus’ birth. They “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” when they saw the star that led them to Bethlehem. They fell on the ground and worshiped Jesus, and opening their treasures, presented Him with gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense. (Matthew 2:10-12)
Why do some people say Christmas is a pagan holiday? Ancient Romans had festivals in late December, honoring the gods Saturn and Sol Invictus – the “unconquered sun.” In A.D. 336, the Roman emperor Constantine, who converted to Christianity, initiated the first recorded celebration of Jesus’ birth on December 25. Some say he chose that date because it was the birthday of Sol Invictus, so the pagan holiday segued into a Christian one.
However, December 25 was recognized by some early Christians as Jesus’ birthday over a hundred years before. Around A.D. 200, the Christian scholar Hippolytus wrote that Jesus was born on December 25. In A.D. 221, the historian Sextus Africanus wrote that Jesus was conceived on March 25 (and many churches still celebrate March 25 as the day the angel Gabriel announced Jesus’ impending birth to Mary). Nine months from March 25 is December 25. Africanus calculated that Jesus died on March 25 (at Passover time) and early Christians had a tradition that Jesus was conceived on the same day He died.
The Christmas holiday got a bad rap in the Middle Ages as a time of over-indulgence and drunkenness. Consequently, the Puritans banned Christmas in England and in the early American colonies. The Anglican and Lutheran churches celebrated Christmas, but with more focus on the sacred rather than revelry. In the 1800’s, Charles Dicken’s writings emphasized the Christmas celebration as a time of faith, family, gift-giving, and reconciliation.
Today, when we say, “Keep Christ in Christmas,” it means to honor Jesus and why He came, rather than a month-long frenzy of buying, partying, and eating.
32. Romans 14:5–6 “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.”
33. 1 Corinthians 11:25 “In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
34. 1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”
Was Jesus born on Christmas?
We don’t really know what day Jesus was born. Some point out that because December is chilly and rainy in Israel, it’s unlikely the shepherds were out with their flocks in the fields then.
It doesn’t really matter what day Jesus was really born.
December 25 is an arbitrary date that most of the world recognizes.
What’s important is that we celebrate His coming to earth to live and die for us and look forward to His return.
35. Luke 3:23 “Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli.”
36. John 19:14-16 “It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus.”
37. Luke 2:1-4 “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)”
What does the Bible say about Christmas trees?
The Bible doesn’t say anything about Christmas trees because that tradition didn’t begin until after the Reformation. Some say that Jeremiah 10:1-16 is referring to a Christmas tree because it talks about “cutting down a tree from the forest” in verse 3. But if you read the whole passage, it goes on to talk about carving the wood and overlaying it with gold – it’s about making idols.
Likewise, in Isaiah 44:9-20, when it talks about bringing a fir or a cedar or an oak tree into the house, it isn’t a Christmas tree. The passage talks about how ludicrous it is to use half the wood to build a fire to keep warm and cook food and to use the other half to make an idol.
The great reformer Martin Luther is said to have started the Christmas tree custom. He was enchanted by the sight of\ stars shining through the tree branches in the forest. He told his children it made him think of Jesus leaving the stars of heaven to come to earth. He brought a small evergreen tree into his house and lit it with candles to replicate what he saw in the forest.
Today, the Christmas tree often has an angel or star on top to remind us of the angel who announced the birth of Jesus or the star that led the wise men to Bethlehem.
38. Jeremiah 10:3-4 “The customs of other people are worth nothing. Their idols are nothing but wood from the forest. Their idols are made by workers with their chisels. 4 They make their idols beautiful with silver and gold. They use hammers and nails to fasten their idols down so that they will not fall over.”
39. Isaiah 40:19-20 “As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. 20 A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot; they look for a skilled worker to set up an idol that will not topple.”
40. Isaiah 40:24 “Scarcely shall they be planted, Scarcely shall they be sown, Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, When He will also blow on them, And they will wither, And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.”
41. Isaiah 44:14-15 “They cut down cedars for themselves. Then they choose fir trees or oaks. They let them grow strong among the trees in the forest. Then they plant cedars, and the rain makes them grow. 15 These trees become fuel for people to burn. So they take some of them and warm themselves with them. They start fires and bake bread. They also make gods from these trees and worship them. They make them into carved statues and bow in front of them.”
42. Isaiah 44:16-17 “Half of the wood they burn in the fire. Over this half they roast meat that they can eat until they are full. They also warm themselves and say, “Ah! We are warm. We can see the fire!” 17 But the rest of the wood they make into gods, carved statues. They bow to them and worship them. They pray to them, saying, “Rescue us, because you are our gods.”
Why do we give gifts at Christmas?
We give gifts at Christmas in remembrance of God’s indescribable and magnificent gift in sending His Son Jesus to earth to die for us, so we could live eternally. Just as God loved us so much that He gave us this great sacrifice, we should love and sacrificially give to others. It’s a way of putting others before ourselves.
43. 2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
44. 1 Peter 1:8 “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”
45. Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
46. Hebrews 13:16 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
47. 1 John 3:16-18 “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister[a] in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”
48. 1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
49. 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each of you should give whatever you have decided. You shouldn’t be sorry that you gave or feel forced to give, since God loves a cheerful giver.”
50. James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
51. Proverbs 21:26 “All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.”
52. Deuteronomy 15:10 “Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”
53. John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
54. Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
55. Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
56. Psalm 4:7 “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.”
57. 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
58. Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
59. 2 Corinthians 8:7–8 “But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
Jesus is the light of the world
Lights and candles remind us of Jesus, the light of the world. Jesus was the true light, who, coming into the world, enlightens every person. He was in our world – the world that He created – and yet, too many of us who were created by Him have not received Him. But if we receive Him – if we believe on His name – He gives us the right to be children of God. Jesus came as the light of the world so that everyone who believes in Him shall not remain in the darkness of sin and death but have the light of life.
60. John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
61. 1 John 1:5 “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
62. John 9:5 “While I am in the world, I am the light for the world.”
63. Luke 1:78-79 “because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
64. John 1:4 “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
65. John 3:19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”
66. John 12:46 “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should remain in darkness.”
67. Isaiah 9:2 “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.”
Enjoying family on Christmas verses
Christmas reminds us of the importance and joy of family. It’s a great time to bond and build memories. Holiday activities are a wonderful time to enjoy family fun and worship together – including with extended family like grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. As a family, we can enjoy the Christmas church service together, even inviting family members who aren’t Christians to come along. Sharing the Christmas story with family members and the meaning behind Christmas traditions is an ideal time to teach children and even adults about the wonders of Jesus’ incarnation.
Christmas can be an opportune time to share our faith with friends and colleagues who aren’t believers. We can invite extended family, neighbors, friends, and colleagues to join us in our home for Christmas festivities or accompany us to Christmas services. Many missionaries have found the Christmas celebration to be intriguing to non-Christians, and a wonderful time to explain the meaning behind the holiday and bring people to Christ.
68. 1 Corinthians 13:7 “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
69. Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a relative is born to help in adversity.”
70. 1 Corinthians 13:13 “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
71. Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
72. Proverbs 17:6 “Grandchildren are the crowning glory and ultimate delight of old age, and parents are the pride of their children.”
73. Proverbs 31:28-29 “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Why do we sing Christmas carols and use bells?
Since A.D. 400, bells have been rung in the church to announce the beginning of a worship service or time for prayer, as well as announcing big events like a wedding. Bells are associated with joy and good news, and as a way of expressing our joy for Christ. Even in these troubled times, the ringing of the bells reminds us of God’s love for us. In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
Christmas hymns and carols are another ancient tradition. They were originally sung to explain the doctrine of the incarnation. Singing Christmas carols is an enjoyable and communal way to celebrate and remember the Christmas message.
Four songs recorded in the Gospel of Luke commemorate the birth of Jesus. Mary’s Song – The Magnificat (Luke 1:46 – 56) was in response to Elizabeth’s greeting and celebrates God’s mercy to the humble. Mary song reflects Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2, along with Psalms 103 and 107, showing Mary had God’s word hidden in her heart.
Zechariah’s Song (Luke 1:67-79) celebrated the birth of his son John (the Baptist) and is a prophecy of John’s destiny as the prophet of the Most High and the visitation of the Sunrise from on high (Jesus).
The Angels’ Song to the shepherds (Luke 2:13-14) reflects the ecstasy of heaven that God’s plan to reconcile heaven and earth had been launched.
Simeon’s Song (Luke 2:29-33), when the baby Jesus was presented in the temple, is a prophecy that Jesus would bring salvation and be a light to the Gentiles as well as the glory of Israel.
74. Luke 1:46-55 “And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
75. Luke 2:13-14 “Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
76. Luke 2:29-33 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. 30 I have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared for all people. 32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” 33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him.
77. Luke 1:67-79 “His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
78. Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You.”
79. Psalm 95:1 “Come, let’s sing joyfully to the Lord. Let’s shout happily to the rock of our salvation.”
80. Psalm 149:1 “Hallelujah! Sing to the LORD a new song—His praise in the assembly of the godly.”
81. Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Christmas is a time of spiritual reflection
We need to ensure that Christmas is a season of reverence and thanksgiving to our holy God, by meditating on its spiritual significance. We can do this by reading and reflecting on the Bible prophecies of the coming Messiah, along with the stories of His birth in Matthew and Luke. Through the custom of the advent wreath, church services, singing Christmas carols and sharing the love of Christ and His gospel with others, we can experience the deeper meaning of His coming.
82. Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
83. 2 Corinthians 13:5 — “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”
84. Lamentations 3:40 “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”
The birth of Christ
Many prophecies in the Old Testament told abut the birth of Christ. These include:
- His birth in Bethlehem: “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah…from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2)
- His virgin birth: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke give us details about the birth of Jesus. If you start in Luke chapter 1, then go to Matthew 1, then to Luke 2, and then to Matthew 2, you can capture the story of His birth in chronological order. Luke 1 tells us about the angel’s announcement to the virgin Mary that she would become pregnant through the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Son of the Most High. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
In Matthew 1 we read about Joseph, to whom Mary was engaged. He was initially distressed and planning to break off the marriage when he learned of Mary’s pregnancy, until an angel told him that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The angel told Joseph to give the baby the name of Jesus (God saves), “for He was save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
Going back to Luke chapter 2, we read that Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem because of a census requiring everyone to return to their hometown. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus, laying Him in a manger (a place to feed animals) because there was no room in the inn. Angels then announced the joyous birth to shepherds out in the fields who hurried into Bethlehem to see the baby and then told everyone what the angels had announced, glorifying and praising God.
How touching that God, our Good Shepherd, chose shepherds to make this wonderful announcement of a child who would grow up to be the Lamb of God, giving Himself as a sacrifice for all people.
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Finally, in Matthew 2, we read of Magi (wise men) from the east who came looking for Jesus because they had seen His star and wanted to worship Him. King Herod consulted with the priests as to where the Messiah was to be born, and they told him Bethlehem. Herod sent the Magi to Bethlehem, telling them to come back and tell him where the baby was. The wise men found Jesus in Bethlehem and worshiped Him, presenting gifts from their treasures.
After being warned by God in a dream, they went home another way, rather than divulging to Herod the child’s location. Enraged, Herod attempted to kill this baby he knew to be the Messiah by killing all baby boys under age two in Bethlehem. An angel warned Joseph, and he and Mary and the baby fled to Egypt, narrowly escaping Herod’s murderous plan.
85. Matthew 2:1-2 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
86. Matthew 1:21 “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.”
87. Luke 1:30-33 “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
88. Numbers 24:17 “I see him, but not now. I see him, but he is not near. A star will come out of Jacob. A special stick of power will rise from Israel. It will crush the forehead of Moab, and break down all the sons of Sheth.”
89. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God.”
90. Revelation 17:14 “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”
Why did Jesus come?
Jesus was born to be the Savior of the world. He taught about the kingdom of God and He healed vast numbers of people. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross in payment for all the sins of everyone in the world. Three days later He rose from the dead. All those who have faith in Jesus and call on His name will be saved from their sins. Our relationship with God can be reconciled because of the great gift Jesus gave us.
Colossians 1:22 “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
Q1 – What is your favorite part of Christmas and why?
Q2 – What aspect of Christmas has God been teaching you the most about?
Q3 – Do you struggle with selfishness or keeping the focus on Christ around Christmas time? (My answer: Yes, I do)
Q4 – How can you keep the focus on Christ this holiday season?
Q5 – What are ways that you can give and serve?
Q6 – Are you allowing God to speak to you this holiday season? Try getting alone with Him.