For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
The prophesied son in this verse is Jesus. He is the one we celebrate today.
Over the years I’ve heard talk about the true meaning of Christmas. I’ve also heard ministers reference the “spirit of Christmas” in sermons. Scripture does not tell us to observe a day in December acknowledging these things. They are based on tradition.
Many people have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. This includes a large number of Christians.
The word “Christ” is from a Greek word more properly translated “the anointed one”. Prophets, priests, and kings were anointed in the Old Testament. Jesus was different.
Prophets spoke of “the” anointed one referring to Jesus. He was not just another anointed minister. He is “the” anointed one.
Jesus is the Messiah prophesied throughout the Old Testament. He fulfilled each of the prophecies in amazing detail. Many of them were foretold centuries before His birth but still He was the fulfillment of each.
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I believe that it is critical for us to examine thisquestion asked by Jesus of His disciples.
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
I have heard people say that Jesus was just one of a number of prophets who have walked this earth. Their explanation is similar to the disciples answer. When contemplating Jesus’ question we must also consider His response to the disciple’s answer.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
This is perhaps the most important question any of us will ever answer.
Is He the anointed one?
Is He the Messiah?
Our answer to these questions will determine our eternal destiny. If it is wrong we will spend eternity separated from God in the fires of hell.
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
I want you to notice that Peter did not just call Jesus an anointed prophet. He definitively stated “thou art the Christ”. Jesus is the anointed one. Do you believe that to be true?
The Christmas story is much more than a fairy tale. It is the story of God’s Son entering into the earth as a fulfillment of Scripture.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Today we celebrate the birth of God’s gift. Jesus was born a baby, He grew up, built a ministry, and then went to the cross for the redemption of mankind. He became a curse in our place, our judgment was placed on Him, and He rose from the dead.
If you don’t believe in the virgin birth and resurrection, you do not believe Jesus is your redeemer. He is the one sent by God to serve as our sacrificial lamb. We must receive Him as God’s gift sent to open the door for us to be restored to fellowship with our Creator.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
This is the biggest question any of us will ever have to answer. It does not matter who I say He is and it does not matter who the prophets said He was.
Who do you say He is?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Jesus is the Word that became flesh. He is the anointed Son of the living God!
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Jesus is the Word made flesh. He was sent by God to redeem mankind. We celebrate His entrance into the earth on Christmas day.
Jesus’ birth was miraculous.
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
The Holy Spirit came on Mary and she conceived. She was a virgin just as the prophets had prophesied and she became the mother of the Son of God.
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders. They had spent their entire lives studying Scripture and did not recognize their own Messiah. These men had no idea how many Scriptures were being fulfilled before their very eyes.
I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
Jesus is the one sent from God. They did not recognize Him. Many today also do not recognize Him.
“When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he“
I want you to notice that the word “he” is in italics. It was added by the translators. Jesus told them that they would know He is “I am”. This is a reference to the burning bush.
And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.
Jesus is the eternal I AM!
And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.
Did you know that believing is a choice. I have heard people say that they cannot believe something. God will always provide a way for us to believe if we choose to.
Faith is always a choice. There were many in the crowd who heard Jesus’ message and chose to believe He was the Messiah. Everyone present had the same opportunity. Some chose to believe and others did not.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
These last two verses were directed only at those who chose to believe in Him. Those who believe in Him will know the truth and the truth revealed to them will set them free.
There are many people looking for something to fill the empty hole within. Jesus is the only one who can satisfy our every need. Who do you say He is?
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