Finding Faith in the Christmas Story

3_wisemenSome of the events of the Christmas story amaze me.

For instance, let’s look at the story (in the book of Luke, chapter 1) of two individuals who met the angel, Gabriel – Mary and Zechariah.

Good old Zechariah was a priest. He was trained in the ways of God. In the story, an angel tells him he’ll be the father of John the Baptist. Another miraculous birth foretold.

Gabriel also appeared to Mary, to tell her she would give birth to Jesus.

Both were contacted by the angel Gabriel. Both told of a miraculous birth.

Mary response–”Behold the handmaiden of the Lord.” She had the faith to accept God’s decree. Zechariah’s response– “How can this happen?” 

One believed, the other doubted. What amazes me is, the doubter was the priest; the one knowledgeable in the ways of the Lord. Shouldn’t he have had faith? Mary was a young woman; probably a teenager. She had more faith than the priest.

Let’s look at another story – the Wisemen. . .Kings. . .Magi. . .whatever you want to call them. Compare and contrast them to King Herod. (Found in Matthew, chapter 2) Both were Learned. Both were rich.

Here’s the difference. The Magi sought Jesus, to worship Him. Herod sought Jesus, to destroy Him. As a matter of fact, according to the records, all of Jerusalem was troubled at the birth of Jesus. What an amazing thing. We can assume that the majority of Jerusalem was of the Jewish faith; long awaiting their coming Messiah. Yet when He appears, the ones who should have known, the one who were brought up in the rich culture of Jerusalem, wanted nothing to do with Jesus. Herod didn’t want to be dethroned. Instead, he sought his death! All of Jerusalem wasn’t much better. I guess Jesus was going to upset the status quo.

Let’s contrast that to the Magi, who were pagan astrologers. Yet, they came bearing gifts, to worship the King of kings.

What truly amazes me is that in these two stories, the ones who should have known, the ones who should have believed, the ones who’s lives should have been impacted by Jesus, failed. It was the young, it was the “nonbelievers” who were open to listen; open to having their lives changed.

How about you?

Sometimes we’re so knowledgeable (like the priests), so close to the religious things (like the people of Jerusalem), that we don’t react to God with faith; don’t want to have our lives touched. It might upset the status quo.

Be careful in your celebration of Christmas. Have faith, like Mary, to believe the miraculous power of God. Be careful. Allow Jesus to impact your life, like the Magi, who were willing to kneel before the king of kings?


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