April 10th, 2009
Dr. Phil Fernandes
Pastor of Trinity Bible Fellowship
President of the Institute of Biblical Defense
Once again, Christmas is here. As usual, this holiday will be accompanied by last minute shopping, the giving of gifts, the singing of carols, and a festive meal. However, in the midst of our holiday preparations, we rarely stop to think what Christmas is all about. We seldom contemplate the identity of the babe born in a Bethlehem manger 2,000 years ago. Christmas has become so commercialized and so hectic, that we often forget why we are even celebrating in the first place.
We find out about the first Christmas in the pages of the Bible. But the Bible also tells us the true identity of the Christmas babe, for though this child is a man, He is much more than a mere man. The Bible tells us that the Christmas babe, a man named Jesus, is not only fully man, but also fully God.
The apostle John called Jesus “the Word” and said that “the Word was God” (John 1:1). The apostles Peter and Paul referred to Jesus as “our God and Savior” (2 Peter 1:1; Titus 2:13), while the apostle Thomas addressed Jesus as “my Lord and my God” (John 20:28). The Bible teaches that, before He became a man, Jesus created the universe (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17).
Jesus Himself claimed to be God. He said “I and the Father are one,” and that “before Abraham was born, I Am” (John 10:30; 8:58-59). Jesus acted as if He were God by accepting worship and forgiving sins (Matthew 14:33; 28:9; John 9:35-38; Mark 2:5-7). In fact, He was arrested for blasphemy, because, according to His accusers, “He being a man was making Himself out to be God” (Mark 14:64; John 10:33).
Even the Old Testament prophets who predicted the coming of Christ said that He would be God incarnate. Isaiah calls Him “Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) and “the Mighty God” (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). Jeremiah speaks of Jesus as “Jehovah our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:5-6), while Zechariah refers to the coming Messiah (i.e., Jesus) as “the Lord my God” (Zechariah 14:5).
Therefore, it is clear that the testimony of Scripture declares the Christmas babe to be God. As God, the babe born in a manger could one day say, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). As we celebrate Christmas this year, let us never forget the true reason why we celebrate: God has become a man and has provided salvation for all who trust in Him. The Christmas babe is truly God, the only Savior this world will ever know.