What Would Jesus Say About Christmas?

Imagine, if you will, that it is just a day or two before Christmas and that you are downtown in a large city. The streets are festively decorated. Santa Claus’ are in all the stores. Shoppers are desperately making last minute purchases. Recorded Christmas carols ring out. Every conversation ends with “Merry Christmas!” Everyone has the Christmas spirit.

Now imagine that Jesus is there on that street amidst all that bustle and activity. Imagine that you are near by so that you can see and hear what takes place.

Listen…

shopJesus approaches a shopper burdened down with packages. He inquires of her. “Would you tell me the meaning of all this excitement and commotion?”

The woman continues to brush on past, but for some strange reason she stops and answers rather irritably what she feels is a foolish question. “Mister, this is Christmas!”

“Christmas?” asked Jesus. “What is that?”

Why she doesn’t ignore this fellow and be on her way she’ll never know, but she snapped back, “Listen, don’t you go to church?! Didn’t you ever read the Bible? Christmas is Jesus’ birthday! December the 25th. That’s when we celebrate the birth of Christ.”

By this time a small crowd had gathered around.

“There must be some mistake,” replies Jesus. “Don’t you know the Savior was not born on December the 25th?”

“What’s the difference?! Why be so technical? The important thing is we’re celebrating his birth. That’s what’s important to him.”

“Oh, is that so?”

Noting that she was burdened down with packages, Jesus asked her, “Would you tell me, what are all those packages you have?”

“These are Christmas gifts!”

“Are they all for Jesus?”

Oddly the crowd does not move, but more keep gathering around to hear the discussion.

“Are you trying to be funny?! You know he’s been dead for more than nineteen hundred years. How could I give him these gifts?”

“Then, who are they for?” Jesus presses an answer to his question.

Jesus’ eyes pick out a pious looking man dressed in a black suit, and addressing him, says, “Surely, you could tell me whom all these gifts are for.”

Mens_Suits_TC_3The pious man steps forward and clears his throat. He obviously wants to be seen as well as heard when he delivers his answer.

“Young man,” he begins pompously. “Evidently you are not familiar with the principles taught by Jesus Christ. One of the greatest of them is that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Now that is what we do on Christmas. We give gifts to each other, thereby honoring the son of God.”

“What an odd situation,” returns Jesus. “Here you are having a birthday party for a man who you say has been dead for more than nineteen hundred years. You buy gifts but not for one in whose honor you are having the party. Rather the gifts are for you. How does that honor God’s son?”

The man in black clears his throat and said nothing; and the crowd seemed expectant.

Now the department store in front of which they were standing had a beautiful Christmas display in the window, which depicted the familiar scene of the baby Jesus and his mother in the manger. The sheppards were there, the three wise men were there offering their gifts, and the glittering star hung over the crib of baby Jesus. It was a really lavished display, and must have cost a lot of money. But at Christmas time money is no object to Macy’s Department Store when they honor Jesus, the messiah. In fact they are very much indebted to Jesus. The religious customs surrounding Christmas and Easter are responsible for their store making great profits. Yes, without them they might go bankrupt. So they probably agree with their mechanical window display Santa every time he gives out with a hearty “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

Again addressing the man in black, and pointing to the display, Jesus said, “I perceived you are a learned man. Perhaps you could explain the meaning of this display?”

The man in black was visually relieved. This he could do because he well knew the story of baby Jesus. So with a condescending look he took out a King James Bible from his pocket and began to read from Luke, the second chapter, and the first seventeen verses.

Luke 2 : 1 – 17
King James Bible
(1) And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (2) (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) (3) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. (4) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) (5) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (6) And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. (7) And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  (8) And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (9) And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. (10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  (14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  (15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. (16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. (17) And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

“Now wait a moment,” said Jesus. “That said that God’s angels announced the birth to the sheppards. Nothing is said of the star, and the wise men.”

The man in black was not at all perturbed. He really knew his Bible. “That is not all my friend. The rest of the story is found at Matthew chapter two, which I shall read to you.” And so he read from the second chapter of Matthew through the first thirteen verses.

Matthew 2 : 1 – 13
King James Bible
(1) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, (2) Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (3) When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. (4) And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. (5) And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,(6) And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (7) Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. (8) And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. (9) When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. (10) When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. (11) And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (12) And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. (13) And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

“You overlooked some important bits of information here,” said Jesus. “For example, Jesus is not a baby in this last account. This is not taking about his birth. He is called a young child and he is now living in a house. He could have been as much as two years old. The wise men were not worshippers of Jehovah, nor does the account say how many there were. They were astrologers from the east. Now let me ask you a question. If they were sent by God, and it was God’s star that guided them, why did they first have to consult with Herod? And what was the result of their going to Herod?”

No answer.

PointBibleSo Jesus asked for the Bible and read verse sixteen.

(16) Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

Jesus continues, “Herod murdered about 20,000 young boys as a result of the information that he obtained from the wise men whose star led them to him. Do you think God cooperated in the death of those children?”

No answer.

“The wise men did not have to be wicked, but who used them: God or Satan?”

The man in black still did not answer. Someone in the crowd shouts, “You sound like a liberal!” And another yells, “He doesn’t believe in the Christ!”

Across the street in the park was the city’s giant Christmas tree. Beautiful ornaments twinkled in its foliage, and many colored lights make it a wondrous thing to behold. And there was Santa Claus with a little child on his knee asking him what he wanted for Christmas.

Calling their attention to that scene Jesus asked, “Is all of that part of the birthday celebration? Who is that funny looking man with the beard, and what is he doing?”

“Why that is Santa Claus! Santa is the spirit of Christmas. It wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa and his gifts to the children. And what would Christmas be without a Christmas tree?”

“While walking through your stores and your streets,” said Jesus. “I saw many of these Santas; some of them begging for money, others were just saying ‘Merry Christmas everyone!’ And all I could hear some of them say was ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ What sort of a man is he? How can you say there is anything Christian about him?”

The man in black said in a voice that was not heard by the children in the crowd, “Santa is just a fable. The children like to believe in him, and that he gives them gifts for being good during the year.”

“Does he?”

“No, of course not. There really isn’t any Santa.”

“Then it’s a lie isn’t it? Is it part of your birthday celebration to tell lies to your children?”

Trying to evade the question the man in the black suit answers, “I don’t have any children.”

“You don’t? I thought I heard some of these people call you father. Why do people lie to their children when God tells them not to lie? Furthermore what has that decorated tree got to do with Jesus’ birthday?”

“It’s the custom! It’s a Christmas tradition. Everybody does it, and we all enjoy it.”

Addressing the man in black Jesus said, “You’re educated. Don’t you know the worship of the evergreen tree was part of the worship of Nimrod, God’s enemy?”

“What differences does it make?! The people don’t know about Nimrod, nor do they care.”

“Maybe Jesus does. Who are you honoring by having this party? It is Jesus, the people, or Nimrod? The answer is certainly plain enough. Everybody enjoys Jesus’ birthday party except Jesus. Surely the words of Isaiah apply to you people when he said, ‘these people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.'”

This was more than the man in black could take.

“Who do you think you are that you can insult us and our Christmas celebration like that?!” and off he went in a huff.

The crowd has became aroused and angry. A woman’s shrilled voice screamed out, “From the way he talks he thinks he’s Jesus Christ himself!” And the voice of a tough guy yelled, “If you don’t like what we do then go back to Hollywood where they don’t believe in God!”

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