“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.”
2 Peter 1:16-18 ESV
In the day and age we live in we can no longer take for granted that people know what we’re talking about at Christmas time when we celebrate the birth of Christ, the Savior of the world. With the other myths or fables that are prevalent during the Christmas season, the Christian belief of the virgin born birth of a Savior is not among those myths. Peter, the writer of the letter quoted above was there with Jesus—maybe not at his birth, but certainly during much of his earthly ministry, and certainly on the Mount of Transfiguration referred to here and written about in the gospels such as Matt. 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, and Luke 9:28-36. Peter, James and John were all there on the mountain and heard the voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
The birth of Jesus is not a fairy tale, or myth made up by a group of people a couple thousand years ago, but a historical fact borne out by the lives of those who were his disciples, and who all were either exiled or martyred for their faith in this Jesus. Someone might be willing to die for something they believed to be true, but no one would be willing to die for something they knew to be false.
The incarnation of Christ was something that God had been alluding to since the dawn of creation. For centuries before, prophets had been predicting his coming, and all of Israel had been awaiting this coming Messiah. The apostle John writes of it this way: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Paul writes about it to the church in Philippi this way: “…who though he [Christ Jesus] was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:6-8)
So, boldly believe and celebrate the birth of our Savior, not as some weakly held myth that only young children might really believe, but as foretold by prophets, proclaimed by angels, and written of by some of the very men who walked and talked with him some 30 years after that monumental birth. He was God incarnate, or God in the flesh for those 30+ years, but has always been and will always be the Son of God, co-equal with God in heaven. He is the only Savior, and He’s coming back for us one day. What a day that will be!
By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen