“CHRISTMAS,” IN PERSPECTIVE, 23.12.19
Whether or not “Christmas” actually represents the time of our Saviour’s birth, let us put into perspective what “Christendom” has purported to have taken from the pagan holiday and integrated into its belief system as a time to celebrate the birth of Messiah Jesus/Yeshua. Regardless of any particular date, what is more important is the reality that Jesus came to the earth to represent His Father, to show Who He is. Our focus needs to be on Who He is, and what that means, not on the birthdate.
What is worthy of recognition is the fact of His Birth as an arrival upon this earth, while realizing that as Messiah, as the Son of God, He shares DEITY with the FATHER, and was GOD IN THE FLESH made known to human beings. He was, and is, fully man, and fully GOD, just as much as He was, and is, fully Jewish. Believe it or not, the fact that Jesus/Yeshua was born to a Jewish family, lived on earth as a Jew, participated in Jewish culture, embracing Jewish traditions, honouring Torah by not only teaching its laws, precepts, etc., but by fully living it out without ever sinning, necessitates the reality that upon His return, He will still be a Jew.
From the day of Messiah’s birth, there were those who knew and identified Him as Messiah. The Shepherds, the Wise Men, and then, “a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and pious, waiting for the consolation of Israel . . . it had been revealed to him by the Ruach ha-Kodesh that he would not die before he had seen the Anointed One of Adonai” (Lk.2:25,26). Simeon knew that this Child in his arms was the Saviour, God’s provision for the salvation of the world.
“Now Anna, . . . . a prophetess. . . .. . well advanced in age . . . . . never left the Temple, serving night and day with fasting and prayers”
(Lk.2:36,37), also identified Yeshua/Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah. “And it will be said in that day, “It will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God, We waited for Him—He will save us. This is Adonai—we waited for Him. We will rejoice and be glad in His salvation” (Isa.25:9). There were those who had prophesied; there were those who believed, and understood when the prophecies were fulfilled. He was so clearly identified; yet there were those who denied His identity.
How clearly we can see the connection between Isa.25:9, the prophecy by Anna the Prophetess, and Simeon, and the birth of Messiah. It surely was an opportunity for all of Israel to lay hold of the truth. Yet Messiah’s arrival was so overlooked, misunderstood, denied, and rejected by the majority. How was it that all of Israel did not rejoice and embrace their Saviour? What happened?
And since that time, so much of what the prophets, so much of what Jesus/Yeshua Himself prophesied has been, or is in the process of being realized. Yet we experience today, not only the denial of Jesus/Yeshua Himself and Who He was/is by unbelievers, but sadly the denial of His Deity by increasing numbers of so-called believers.
“We are living in a time when many of God’s people are departing from Yeshua and no longer believing in Him as they first did. They have left their first love. We are living in a time of APOSTASY . . . . a spirit of Anti-Messiah has one purpose: to deceive the world, and sadly some of our Christian friends are falling into this . . .” says Goldberg. “And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 John 4:3).
“Two thousand years ago, the Light pierced the Darkness” (Goldberg, 21.12.19, ref. below). Jesus/Yeshua spoke the words from Isaiah 9, indicating the prophecy which he had come to (partially) fulfill:
14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:
16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.”
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus/Yeshua was/is the LIGHT of the world. Jesus/Yeshua was/IS the LIVING WORD. JESUS/YESHUA was already part of the DEITY prior to His arrival on earth:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Folks, please, . . .. common sense interprets these passages. If He was already present before coming to earth; and if He “made all things that were made,” He had to have already been DEITY.
There are many passages where Jesus/Yeshua clarifies His status as DEITY:
“all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him.”
How much clearer could it be that Jesus/Yeshua is on an equal playing field with the Father? There is no other answer for Jesus/Yeshua having made such a statement as that He merits honour equal to the Father.
53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”
54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”
57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
In the above set of passages, it is clear that:
- Jesus/Yeshua was identifying Himself as Messiah, and also declaring His status – His DEITY.
- The people understood what Jesus/Yeshua was saying, because they knew the Scriptures, and they knew therefore that He was identifying Himself as Messiah & as DEITY.
As Goldberg points out, “There would have been no reason for the Jews to have wanted to stone Him unless they had understood what He had said” (Goldberg, Message, “Revelation of Yeshua During Hanukkah”). To them, this was blasphemy, since their interpretation of the prophecies was that of a stately political figure who would rescue them from all their earthly enemies and establish them clearly as a nation. They would not accept that He was Who He said He was/is.
“He reiterated His divine status, when He declared assertively: “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves” (John 14:9-11). He’s saying, “Look at the evidence, if you can’t believe because of what I’m saying to you.”” (taken from STUDY TOPIC, https://www.vernasstudycorner.ca/2019/12/more-than-a-babe-in-a-manger-18-12-19/“More Than a Babe in a Manger,” 18.12.19).
In this season where people are more open to thoughts of Jesus/Yeshua because of Christmas celebrations, we need to capitalize on opportunities not only to spread the Gospel itself, but to also promote right doctrine/Truth, and to correct/dispel false teachings. As we encounter opportunities to share about what Jesus/Yeshua’s birth is really all about, let us also correct wrong thinking/teaching about Jesus just being a good man, a prophet, etc. and counter wrong notions about who Jesus/Yeshua is/is not. Let us focus on priorities, not agitate over incidentals.
Many today even amongst believers are not fully accepting of Who He really is. Yet He made it clear in many different ways that He was “one” with the Father, that He shared in the Father’s divine status (DEITY). What could possibly be clearer than statements such as: “before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58); and “I and the Father are ONE” (John 10:30).
Let us celebrate our Saviour’s DIVINE STATUS every day; let us use the Season as an opportunity to share that Truth.
1 John 4:3
Goldberg, Message, “Hanukkah 2 – The Revelation of Yeshua” – Rabbi Cal Goldberg
STUDY TOPIC, ““More Than a Babe in a Manger,” 18.12.19 by Verna Crowther,
© 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.