We will continue our look at the Nativity Account in the Gospel of Luke. Luke wrote his gospel about ad 60. Luke also wrote the book of Acts. These two books are actually one work in two volumes for a Theophilus thought to be a high-ranking Roman government official. Last week we covered the genealogy that Luke gives, it is likely he got this genealogy as well as the account of Jesus birth straight from Mary. The Nativity is also found in the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew probably got his account of the Nativity from Joseph. . They each give different details of this great event. The one thing both accounts share is that Jesus was born of a virgin,this is stated by both plainly, explicitly, unmistakably, and unequivocably ! This was the belief of the church from the beginning until the rise of modern criticism, which tries to discount and deny this miracle of God. The viewpoint of the critics is abhorrent. If one accepts the Resurrection what is gained by denying a virgin birth? Luke was a physician, and he accepted the virgin birth without question. The whole Nativity scene is filled with nothing but the supernatural. The authors of the gospels go to great lengths to show that Christianity is of a supernatural origin. A virgin birth, angels appearing and speaking, An aged couple, well past child bearing years gives birth the fore runner of the Messiah. The angel Gabriel, appears to Zacharia, to Mary, then to Joseph.
Why do we celebrate Jesus birth on December 25? There is nothing in the Bible to support that date! This date first appears as Jesus birthday in the 4th century, in the western church (Roman Catholic), in the Eastern Church (Greek Orthodox) the date is January 6th.
Pope Julius the First, made Dec 25 the official date of celebration. This was already considered the birthday of the sun. The Romans celebrated the birthday of the false sun god -Sol Invictus on Dec 25, this date was also considered the birthday of the Persian sun god, Mirtha, also this is considered the the birthday of Attis, an agricultural god worshiped in Asia Minor. The church simply combined the new holiday into the pagan festivites probably as much a way to avoid persecution as well not upsetting the masses , the political correctness of the day, so to speak. I am going to keep a lid on the rest- tune in Wednesday to hear the … rest of the story!
It is OK to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!