This study is the first of our 2-part series looking at ‘The Hidden Treasures of Christmas’!
– given on 5th December 2021 by pastor Barry Forder.
Jesus said that tradition undermines God’s Word (Matt 15:6). In fact, because of tradition people miss out on many incredible truths and blessings in God’s Word. Tradition blinds people and builds up walls against the truth, so much so, that people will vehemently defend their tradition over the truth! This is never truer than in regard to the Christmas narrative!
At the outset, we have to be prepared to let go of the tradition we have all been brought up with, particular with the ‘Christmas story’ and get back to God’s Word, not man’s!
Now, it’s true that the Bible does not specifically give us the exact date of the Birth of Christ, and there are certain details omitted from the text. However, the Bible actually gives us far more than most realise regarding the 1st Christmas. Proverbs 25:2 tells us “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter”, and when we search, we discover some incredible treasure that has been hidden by tradition for centuries!
To begin our quest for this treasure we need to realise that the story of Christmas doesn’t begin 2000 years ago in a manger in Bethlehem. The origin of Christmas can be traced back to before the foundation of the world! For 4000 years God had been preparing for the 1st Christmas. It wasn’t an afterthought! It was the centerpiece of His Divine plan.
‘But’, you may say, ‘wasn’t the Cross the centerpiece of all history’?… and the answer is an emphatic YES! and this is tradition’s first disservice: It has managed to dissociate Christmas from Calvary! Yet, the two are inseparable. The reason Jesus came at Christmas was to go to Calvary, without Calvary there would be no Christmas!
Traditional has managed to sell us the wrong timing for Christmas – it wasn’t on the 25th December. Tradition has managed to sell us the wrong setting. As we will discover, there was no Inn and no Inn Keeper! Nor was there a cattle shed with oxen lowing! Furthermore, there were not three kings and they didn’t go to Bethlehem! Tradition has obscured the reason Bethlehem was chosen, the reason the angels visited Shepherds and they were the first to visit the Messiah; the reason that subsequently 2 years later, Persian ‘king-makers’ arrived in Jerusalem looking for the rightful King of the Jews! Tradition has led to many wrong assumptions, and staggeringly, these errors have even managed to creep into modern Bibles!
All this might make you gasp! How have we all been duped into believing things that are found nowhere in the Bible!?
Now that has probably just ruined all your favorite Christmas carols, (sorry about that!), but when the air clears from the smoke screen tradition has laid, you will be amazed at the brilliance and wonder of God’s Word and His divine plan!
May you be amazed and blessed by this study!