By Matthew Ficarelli
Christmas is the time of the season to celebrate the birth of our Lord. It is the time of giving and good will towards man. What do we know about the traditions of the most famous and celebrated holiday? How much do we know to be accurate?
When we think of Christmas, the first thing that comes to mind is baby Jesus lying in the manger with the three wise men. Is this how it really played out? In Luke we see that Mary and Joseph were called to take part in a census.
Luke 2:1. 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.
So we have Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem to be taxed. On their way to Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus.
Luke 2:6. 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.
So we have baby Jesus in the manger, because of the lack of room. There are visitors who come to see Jesus when he was born, but tit wasn't the Magi.
Luke 2:8. 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.
So in Luke we have shepherds going to visit the manger seen. Let's look at what Matthew had to say.
Matthew 2:1. 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,
We have Jesus being born in Bethlehem, which is also stated in Luke. But it says, in the days of Herod is when the wise men came.
Matthew 2:7. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired 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.
The wise men are told by King Herod to go and visit the young child. Child in Greek is paidion, which means a child-ling, or a half grown boy or girl. Not only is Jesus a young child, the wise men visit him in his house, not a manger.
Matthew 2:11. 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.
It is never stated that there were just three. The Magi always used to travel in large groups. People are often confused about the number of the wise men because they only brought three types of gifts.
What is that star of Bethlehem any way? How can a star move across the sky and then stop over a house? The star is actually not a star at all, it is the planet Jupiter. Because of its size, Jupiter is also known as the King planet. On the night that Jesus was conceived, Jupiter circled around a star called Regulus from the constellation Leo. Regulus is also called the King's Star. The lion is the symbol for one of the twelve tribes of Israel which Jesus descended from. Jesus wasn't born on December 25, as most people would believe. Most scholars believe he was born either in the month of June, or September. If you want to learn more visit starofbethlehem.net for more info because there is way too much to post.
Have you ever wondered why we associate Santa Claus with Christmas, more then we do with Jesus? Where and how did this jolly fat guy find his way into Christmas any way? Santa derived from the pagan god Odin. When the people of Germany found Christ, they kept some of their old pagan beliefs as well as their newfound belief in Christ. Santa's modern popularity came from the cartoonist Thomas Nest. In the late 19th century, the Lomen Company used Santa as a commercial gimmick to attract sales. Since then Santa has been associated with Christmas ever since.
Another strange tradition is the Christmas tree. Where did it come from? Is it mentioned in the Bible? Yes it is, but it's not used for Christmas.
Jeremiah 10:2. Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
So the Christmas tree is a pagan tradition, not a Christian one. The pagans used to cut a tree and put it in their homes just like we do today. Then they would decorate it depending on what each of their gods represented.
If there is one correct tradition to come out of Christmas, it is good will towards man. This is the one thing that accurately represents what Jesus was about. But you have to ask yourself why does this happen once a year? If you are a Christian that celebrates Christmas, shouldn't we be this kind all year round? If we are to celebrate Jesus at Christmas, we must shed these non Christian traditions and get back to what Jesus is all about.
All Scripture Taken Form King James Version