THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST (part 2)
For your reading assignment today, go to Deuteronomy 12:30 and Jeremiah 10:1-12 in the Old Testament. In the last article, we laid the groundwork for the information I am about to give. It appears that the majority of the so-called Christian world believes that Jesus was born on December 25th or Christmas day and so we celebrate his birthday on that day. The world in general puts a great amount of emphases on this “holiday season.” Why is this so? Well, you say, it’s Jesus’ birthday and we are supposed to celebrate his birthday aren’t we? Doesn’t the Bible say? But does the Bible say? Someone will ask, does it really matter either way?
I say to you that it does matter whether we celebrate the birthday of Jesus. Anything that pertains to Bible truth matters. If Jesus Christ was born on December 25th and if the Scriptures teach us to celebrate his birthday on that day, then we are duty bound to do so. Anything that we neglect to do that is commanded of us is sin.
Anything that the New Testament commands should be done by all means and done in the proper manner and motive. On the other hand, it would be just as wrong for a church and the Lord’s people to use the Lord’s house and the Lord’s name to go beyond Scripture and do things that are not commanded. That is why Baptist should not practice foot washing, speaking in tongues, allowing women to preach, sprinkle instead of baptize, or celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ.
Now, let us apply a little common sense. Applying a little common sense will help the honest student of the Bible to know that Jesus could not have been born in early winter. According to Eastern custom, the sheep were grazing in the fields until the seasonal rains which begin in October. At that time the sheep are brought into what is called the sheepfold for the winter. They are not let out for grazing again until the spring grasses appear. It must have been before that time that the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of the Lord Jesus. See Luke 2:8. The Holy Spirit was very careful to tell us that it was in the same country and that the shepherds were abiding in the field. Somehow people seem to miss the details, perhaps because details seem to be unimportant.
The fact is, we are not instructed anywhere in the New Testament or Old Testament to observe or celebrate the birth of the Savior. Neither Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, James, Paul, or Jude mentions anything about setting aside a special day or date to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Many of the words of Jesus himself are recorded in the New Testament by the Holy Spirit and He never mentioned such an ordinance.
What about the Law of Moses? There were nine feasts and Sabbaths that God commanded to be kept by the Israelites. For each one of these was given an exact date and time. These were all designed to reveal, by type, either the deity, character, sovereignty, beauty, suffering, offices, or coming of the Messiah. There is no feast or Sabbath that typifies the birth of Messiah. Moses, along with Isaiah does prophesy of Jesus birth. See Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6.
The Lord’s churches were instructed to observe certain ordinances, namely, baptism and the Supper. The Bible is very specific as to whom and where these were to be observed; again, no mention of Jesus’ birth. Why, then, are we not given the “why, how, when and where for the celebration of the birth of the Lord in the New Testament or the Old Testament? I contend that it was never His intention for His church to observe it. Now, I beg of you, please stay with me for one more lesson and then you may prayerfully draw your own conclusion. Don’t forget your reading assignment. E-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.