Christmas Did Happen!
Years ago I recall a conversation that went something like the following. My older cousin asked condescendingly, "do you actually believe in Jesus, and that Jesus was born of a virgin and that Jesus was raised from the dead?" I replied, "well, let me answer that by asking you this: Do you believe in the possibility of a God?" He answered, "yes." I then asked, "can a supernatural God, if that God exists, do supernatural things?" He answered, "yes." I then said, "it is not un-intellectual to believe that a supernatural God can do supernatural things. A supernatural God can cause a virgin to give birth and cause a dead man to come back to life. The question before us is not ‘CAN God cause Mary, a virgin, to give birth to Jesus or CAN God raise Jesus from the dead?’ but ‘DID God cause Mary, a virgin, to give birth to Jesus or DID God raise Jesus from the dead?’ This is not an intellectual question but a historical question. Each of us must ask ourselves, ‘DID this happen, not CAN this happen, since we have already established the fact that it could happen, since a supernatural God can do supernatural things. For me, I have a satisfied mind and heart that it DID happen."
I have not buried my brains by placing my faith in the testimony of the New Testament. My heart cannot believe what my mind rejects. Yes, part of the testimony in the New Testament revolves around the miraculous. After all, the central message of the New Testament revolves around a supernatural God. The supernatural and miracles tend to go together. I would expect this. I would expect to read about such phenomena. For this reason, I always chuckle at those skeptical of the account of the miraculous in the New Testament because if the story did not consist of the miraculous these very skeptics would denounce the New Testament as a false document. They would cynically declare, "if the New Testament authentically tells the story of a supernatural God then we would expect miraculous stories, like the blind seeing, the sick getting healed, the lame walking, and a few other things like walking on water, entering buildings through a wall, and dead men being brought back to life, not to suggest God walking among us and showing himself to us and then ascending into the heavens after telling us everything will be okay in the end."
Well, that kinda captures the New Testament, doesn't it?
Guess what? Now, because the New Testament account consists of supernatural events, these very cynics reject the account as myth, nothing more than fairy tales about dead men coming back to life, the blind seeing, the lame walking and a virgin giving birth. In the spirit of Scrooge we hear them derisively mumble, "Bah humbug.”
For some, whichever way the story comes out, whether the story consists of miracles or whether the story has no miracles, either way they rudely jeer, “Bah, humbug.” With some you cannot win for losing.
As for me, I believe. For example, I believe what John writes in his gospel, the good news. John, 1:1,14, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Who is the Word in John’s Gospel? He identifies this One as Jesus. What do we know about this Word or Jesus? This Word, Jesus, was with God and was God, in other words, Jesus was distinct from God the Father but Jesus was equal to God the Father (Philippians 2:6). Then John tells us that this Word became flesh, in other words, Jesus, who is God, became man.
CAN something like the incarnation happen? Of course. A supernatural God CAN do supernatural things. DID it happen? I believe it DID happen, and I have a hunch, because you continued reading, you too believe, or want to believe. Therefore, I wish you a Merry Christmas!