In this month’s letter, let’s look at some very interesting and wonderful things about the birth of Jesus—things that for the most part have been lost because of Christmas tradition. For instance, what does the word Christmas actually mean? Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah, which means “the Anointed One.” The word mas means “celebration.” So Christmas is the celebration of the One anointed with the
Let’s begin by looking at Luke 2:1-5:
- And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 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:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
This points out that Joseph was a wealthy man. Poor people don’t pay taxes, as we’ll see later on in the story. Verses 6-7 also bear out this same point: “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;
Jesus was not born in a manger because His parents couldn’t afford a hotel room. Joseph had to travel very slowly because of Mary’s condition, so there were no rooms left by the time they got to Bethlehem.
Let’s look at verse 8: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”They were not business people. In other words, they were not wealthy enough to be taxable. Interesting, isn’t it? Verse 9 says: “And, lo, the angel of The LORD came upon them, and
The Apostle Paul said in Acts 26:13 that the light from heaven that shone around him was above the brightness of the sun. So the light that shone around about those shepherds was bright enough to be frightening to them. Suddenly, it was brighter than day. The whole area was lit up like the fire by night that led more than 2 million people in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21).
Now let’s look at the angel’s message in Luke 2:10-14:
- And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is The LORD. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Remember now, toThe angels were celebrating the fact that the One who would destroy the works of the devil was finally here! Once something has come into the earth from heaven, the kingdom of darkness get it out!
The meaning of verse 14 is huge: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Notice, it doesn’t say, “good will among men” but “good will! They were saying, In a little over 33 years, Notice that there were no wise men present at the manger. Why not?
Let’s go to Matthew 2:1-8:
- 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, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 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.
It does not say “three wise men.” There were three gifts, but these men were kings.1 Even if there were only three, they would have had a huge company of people with them. They had come from afar, through areas of war and danger. They must have needed military protection from thieves, etc.
Notice in verse 8, Jesus was not a baby but a young child. Now there’s nothing especially wrong with displaying the three wise men and Jesus as a baby in a nativity scene. It’s a composite presentation, but the true story is far greater than that. Verse 16 lets us know that Jesus was about 2 years old.
Verses 11-13 are extremely important:
- 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. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of The LORD appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
Because these men were led supernaturally,
Now I want to go back to Luke 2:21, to the day Jesus was circumcised: “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”
In verse 22, it says Jesus’ parents brought Him to the Temple to present Him to The LORD. Now let’s read verses 25-27:
- And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen The LORD’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and… the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law.
Simeon was a pray-er. That’s what devout means.2 He cameHe knew who Jesus was. Now let’s read verses 36-37: “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”
This woman was an
widow for 84, so she was about 100 years old. Verse 38 says: “And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto The LORD, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Notice that she came in People who take the time to pray Simeon and Anna were the only ones who knew who Jesus was and what He was called to do. She was a prophetess, but he was only a just and devout man. She didn’t receive that supernatural information because she was a prophetess but because she was an intercessor. She prayed until she received answers and the leading of the Holy Spirit. The same is true for us today.
The miracles that manifested in the Apostle Paul’s life didn’t happen because he was an apostle, but because he was a believer! Look at Acts 16:25: “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed,After having been beaten almost to death, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God so loudly, that whole prison population heard them. These men didn’t receive that mighty miracle earthquake because they were apostles. and men of great faith.
The bottom line of this letter is this: In a few days, we’re entering into the year of the most important election our nation has ever faced. It’s time for the intercessors, praisers and devout believers to be obedient to 1 Timothy 2:1 and pray,for kings and for who are in authority, that the Church can live in peace, godliness and honesty. Praying is our job. For believers, That ballot is your seed. You have voted against God’s choice.
As you sow your BLESSING seed this month, sow toward becoming more like Simeon and Anna, more like Paul and Silas, determined to answer every problem and situation with prayer and praise. Next month, I’ll share the word that The LORD gave me concerning 2020. It’s good, and you will like it.
You are in my heart and prayers every day. Have the most wonderfulyou and your family have ever had! Gloria and I love you very much!
P.S. SOW IT FORWARD! Be a blessing. Pass this letter on to a family member or friend.
 Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, James Strong (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984) G3097, H7248, H7227.
 Strong’s. G2126.