The Birth of Jesus

Posted on 24-Dec-2014

By Junior Adriel Chan of the 10th Kuala Lumpur Company

Published December 24th, 2014
A popular Christmas song goes like this:

Away in a manger,
 No crib for His bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head

The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes...

This song, entitled “Away in the Manger”, talks about Our Great Captain, Jesus, birth in a manger. This event has been called Christmas, celebrated every year across the globe on the 25th of December. Many of us await this day in anticipation of the gifts that will come. Yet few have realised the ambiguity of that day.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. - (Luke 2:8 NIV)

Jesus was not born on the twenty-fifth of December. In Luke 2:8, shepherds were recorded to have been outside tending their sheep. However December is smack in the middle of winter. Snow would have covered the ground. How could the sheep have been grazing if there was no grass to eat? Additionally, Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem to register at their home town for the Roman census. Yet holding a census during winter was impractical, for people traveling to their hometown could literally freeze to death along the journey.

So why have it on the 25th? Perhaps it was because barbarian people of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. Yet the most likely reason is that the Roman feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), occurs on December 25th.

Many Christmas cards today depict Jesus as a baby, lying in a manger, with magi and shepherds beside Him. However, it is recorded in the Bible that the magi did not visit Mary and Joseph at the same time. The shepherds saw Jesus the night He was born, as recorded in Luke 2, but the Magi only came a few years later.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11 NIV)

Additionally, Mary and Joseph only stayed in the stable for less than a week. By the time the magi came, Jesus was already a few years old! This, in turn, proves that there probably wasn't a star. There were 2, one to guide the shepherds, the other for the magi.

No one knows what these “stars” actually were. Some speculate that it was two or more planets overlapping each other – it occurred 7 times from 3 – 2 BC. Others think that it could have been a supernova, an exploding star. Whatever it was, it happened twice, and managed to lead both the highly knowledgeable and the less taught.

Jesus is the most important person in the whole universe, for without him, all of us would be better dead than alive. We owe him more than anyone can imagine, and he deserves the respect that should be given to him. Why not give it to him by honoring His birth instead of celebrating an empty date?

Page Created: 24th December 2014
Last Updated: 24th December 2014