Jesus, The Reason for the Season
Updated: Dec 23, 2019
As Christians, we know that Christmas is really all about Jesus Christ. After all, Christ's name begins the word Christmas and the word literally means Christ’s Mass. This also reminds me that many people feel it’s improper to use the symbol X before mas because it leaves out Christ and that is what Christmas is really all about, the birth of Christ. However, if we look at the Greek symbol for X being Chi and it’s the short form in Greek for Christ then it may not seem offensive to those familiar with the Greek language.
Even though we may get caught up in the festivities of the season we know that Jesus is the reason for the season. For many, it can be overwhelming due to family issues or not having any family at all. Let’s take the time to remember the true meaning of Christmas and remember no matter what we have or don’t have we are blessed every day that God wakes us up.
Let’s find ways to help the less fortunate whether it’s helping financially, giving gifts of need, or donating our time. There are so many ways that you can donate your time this Christmas. You may help at a shelter or visit those in hospitals or retirement homes. There are so many people out there who will be alone this Christmas for one reason or another and it would be a blessing for them just to have company with someone who cares. No matter how you choose to spend your Christmas just remember that we have this precious day because the King of Kings was born to be sacrificed for our sins so that we may have an opportunity to join Him one day in Heaven.
Here is a short version of the birth of Jesus. Just as parents read the stories of Santa and Rudolph and Frosty to their little ones each year, I hope they all share this very special story of how Jesus Christ, the King of Kings came to be.
Birth of Jesus
A long time ago, in the town of Nazareth, lived a young woman named Mary. Mary did her chores, was kind to others, and loved God very much. She was engaged to be married to Joseph, who was a carpenter.
One day, while Mary was at home cleaning her room, an angel named Gabriel suddenly appeared. Before Mary could say anything, the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was favored by God, and that God was with her.
Mary was surprised and she was trying not to be afraid, but she had never seen an angel before. After all, Mary was just a regular lady like you or me. Why was this angel visiting her? What did the angel want?
The angel quickly tried to reassure Mary. "Do not be afraid!" the angel said. "God has found favor with you. You will have a baby boy and are to give him the name Jesus."
Mary was confused since she was not yet married to Joseph. How could she have a baby? The angel thought that this might concern Mary so he said, "The Holy Spirit will perform a miracle, and because of this your baby will be called the Son of God."
To Mary's surprise, the angel had more exciting news: "Even your cousin Elizabeth is going to have a son in her old age. Many thought that she couldn't have children, but she is already pregnant. Nothing is impossible with God."
Mary couldn't believe what she was hearing; she didn't know what to say. She realized that she was trembling and knelt down. When she was finally able to speak, she said, "I am the Lord's servant, and I hope everything you have said will come true." Then the angel disappeared, and Mary was left alone.
Soon after, Joseph found out that Mary was going to have a baby. Joseph was confused and upset by this, but an angel came to him in a dream and said, "Joseph do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. The child Mary is going to have is God's son, and you are to give him the name Jesus."
When Joseph woke up, he remembered what the angel had said. He knew that everything was okay, and he wasn't upset anymore.
In those days, the government decided that they should count everyone that lived in that area of the world. So, Joseph had to take Mary to his town of Bethlehem to register. It took Mary and Joseph a long time to get to Bethlehem. They didn't have cars back then, so it probably took them a lot longer to get there. This was very tiring for Mary because she was soon going to have a baby.
When they reached the town, all the inns or hotels were full and there was nowhere that they could stay. Finally, someone felt bad for them and offered them a place to stay.
The Bible doesn't say for sure where they stayed but most people think that they stayed in a small barn where animals were kept. In any case, doesn't it seem strange that Jesus, the King of the Jews wasn't born in a fancy palace or even a hospital? Mary and Joseph were thankful that they at least had a place to lie down. It was warm, and there was plenty of straw to lay on.
That night an exciting, wonderful thing happened: Mary and Joseph had a baby! But this wasn't just any baby, he was Baby Jesus! The King of Kings, and the one who would save the world.
The little baby boy fell asleep in Mary's arms. She wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger on some clean straw. Mary and Joseph soon fell asleep; they were so glad to have this special baby join their family.
You can find this beautiful story in the Bible in both Matthew and Luke.
History of the Birth of Jesus
Here is a little history behind this story. Mary was probably about 12 to 14 years of age and Joseph would have been a bit older. It was common in biblical times for young ladies to be engaged in their teens. Joseph and Mary were the average couple in Israel at that time and would have been quite poor.
Both Joseph and Mary were descendants of King David of Israel but at this time in history, his family was in the poorest state it had ever been. Mary was also related to the traditional Priest families of Israel through her cousin Elizabeth.
The town Nazareth, where both Joseph and Mary lived, was a small town on a hill. A caravan route that ran through the entire country would travel through Nazareth. It also had a center for the temple priests so that they could come to pray and fast when they weren’t on duty at the temple. So, a very wide variety of people would visit Nazareth.
The angel Gabriel is God’s chief messenger angel and only appears to very important people in the Bible. Gabriel told Mary she was highly favored meaning that God’s holy grace is upon you and a divine blessing from God. These are words that would not have been normal to say to a peasant girl like Mary. She would have been very frightened by this and that is why Gabriel told Mary, “Do not be afraid.”
Mary would have been very surprised when Gabriel told her that the Holy Spirit would be in her because in the old Jewish stories the Holy Spirit only went into very important people. She may not have even believed this was going to happen and went to see her cousin Elizabeth and see if she was really pregnant. She would have done this before telling Joseph about her visit with Gabriel.
The name Jesus was very common in Israel during that time. The name Jesus would have been pronounced Jeshua and it means “savior”. If you had traveled down a normal street where children were playing and called Jeshua more than one child would have come to you.
Now you know the true meaning of Christmas. So, while you enjoy gift-giving, the decorations, the other stories such as Santa and Frosty, remember that without the birth of Jesus Christ Christmas wouldn't exist.
When listening to Christmas carols also remember there are several Christmas songs that also speak of the birth of Jesus. Here are just a few you can add to your Christmas playlist:
Away In A Manger
O Holy Night
The First Noel
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Mary, Did You Know?