It is for good reason that the New Testament begins with the epic story of a family at Christmas time. The beginning of any written volume generally commences by establishing the main idea of the entire work, this is called the ‘thesis statement.’ The dearest and most precious thing to all peoples across the four corners of the globe is family, and each year Christmas is universally accepted as the pinnacle family event of the year. This is no accident. It is all the undertaking of God’s unseen hand working providentially according to His eternal spiritual design. Why is family and Christmas so important to everyone? Because family represents heaven where we find our eternal home in God’s family and the birth of Christ shows us how to get there. ~ “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14.6). Jesus is the only true way to eternal life, and as is clearly depicted in the Christmas story it all begins with the new birth. The first and principal idea of Christmas is the miraculous birth of Christ, which portrays what the New Testament calls the New Birth. ~ “Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water [natural] and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3.5).
Jesus a Young Man
Just as the miracle birth of Christ by Virgen Mother and the power of the Holy Spirit, even so each one of God’s children begin their spiritual journey to the final great Christmas celebration in heaven through the new birth, which is a product of the virgin mother (church) and the Holy Spirit. ~ “But you have come to…the heavenly Jerusalem…to the general assembly and church of the firstborn [who are] registered in heaven…which is the mother of us all” (Hebrews 12.22,23; Galatians 4.26). The Christmas story teaches us that Jesus was not only the son of the virgin, He was also the son of a stepfather called Joseph, who received the baby Jesus and guided Him throughout the childhood years and His youth. Joseph, Jesus’ stepfather, mysteriously disappears from scripture at the time Jesus becomes a young man, which is necessary and also according divine plan. Joseph who symbolizes the human father must disappear into the shadows so the Son of God can give place to his Heavenly Father who is His only true Father. Jesus speaks of His two fathers, His spiritual father and his earthly stepfather, in the book of Luke. ~ “So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father [Joseph] and I have sought You anxiously. And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s [God, the Father] business?” (Luke 2.48,49).
Running and Walking
Notice, as has already been said, Jesus, demonstrating clearly to all the only true way to eternal life in God’s celestial family, did not try to conform the heavenly family to His earthly family, as most people do. No, Jesus understood clearly that if anyone is going to make heaven their home and take their place in the eternal heavenly family in the age to come, they must carefully observe the spiritual family, which is the church, and conform their earthly family to the spiritual family of God, not the reverse. Christmas teaches of the spiritual family which is the only true model for the earthly family to follow and conform to if it is to be saved. Most who mistakenly put the earthly above the spiritual unwittingly destine it to condemnation. Christmas teaches us of how we must all receive the kingdom as dear children and grow up one day at a time, like Jesus did. ~ “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it” (Mark). Too often Christians try to run before they learn how to walk. The Christmas story through Jesus describes to us a normal life that is led by the Holy Spirit. Some have erroneously said that the childhood of Jesus was full of miracles and prodigies; however, we know this is not true because the Bible says that His first miracle was the turning of the water into wine in Cana of Galilee. ~ “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2.11).
Subject to Him
It is no accident that at Christmas children are celebrated and put first. This is how it is in the Kingdom of God, in the family of God. The young new born again1 believers are cherished and celebrated. It is clearly shown that they need time to grow up spiritually and that, like any child, they will stumble and fall every now and then, at which time they will be lovingly picked up and cradled in the arms of the mother church, not scolded and punished. ~ “So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us” (Luke 2.15). Christmas tells us that just as the shepherds and the kings came to Jesus and worshiped him and saw that He was acclaimed by thousands of angels, even so the pastor of every church and president of every country is subject to Him and will give an account of how well they served Him. Don’t miss the opportunity this Christmas to speak a few words about the true meaning of Christmas to your family or just read a few verses from the holy scripture (scripture reading…Luke 2.1-20). And then throughout the new year remind your family as the Spirit directs you of these timeless principles, conducing your family into the only true way to the eternal family in heaven that will forever celebrate the miracle birth of God’s glorious Lamb in a manger on that first Christmas night so long ago.
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
1. John 3.3
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© L. Jonathan Blais 2022 All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.