The unique nativity of Jesus

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, December 24, 2013

By Chris Surber

As a modern tradition, Christmas even has a broad universal appeal to people all over the globe. At this time of year people everywhere celebrate the best parts of humanity. People all over the world, many who are not Christians, participate in the holiday in some way.

That’s how great Jesus’ impact on the world has been. This is not only true at Christmas. The life and teaching of Jesus have found their way into nearly every corner of the world. His teachings are even considered wisdom by other religions. Even people who don’t worship Jesus want to learn from Him.

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In Islam, Isa – Jesus – is considered to be a wise prophet of the Jews, sent by God to reveal a part of the truth of Allah. Many Hindus and Buddhists hail the teaching of Jesus as wise teaching from a great man of peace. Many religious Unitarians and secularists alike find value in His moral teachings.

But Jesus is far more than a prophet or a moral teacher. Among religious leaders and founders of great religions of the world, Jesus is conspicuously unique.

Other world religions contain beautiful tradition and truth. Only Jesus claimed to be the embodiment of the very wisdom and truth of God. Other world religious founders did and said amazing things. Jesus told people that He would be dead for three days and then rise again from the dead. Then He did! (John 2:14-22)

After Jesus rose from the dead, the Bible records that He appeared to more than 500 people, proving the uniqueness and source of His truth claims and teaching. If it were untrue that He had risen, surely we would have ancient record of the Pharisees having produced the body.

But the extraordinary life and message of Jesus in the world starts with His miraculous birth. He was conceived of a virgin. An angel came to Mary and told her God’s unbelievable plan.

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” (Luke 1:34 NLT) The angel told her that God would perform a miracle in her womb. She would bear a holy Child.

Christmas is a crossroads in history when God planted His love for humanity in the womb of a virgin girl. Everything before it led up to it. Everything after it was different. That’s unique. That’s astonishing! That love produced the man Jesus, who is the Son of God.

Christmas is not a date or a state of mind. People everywhere pick up a little truth of Jesus’ birth, but only those who embrace Jesus uniquely as savior know the true power of Christmas.

By placing one’s faith in Jesus, unlike all other religions, any person anywhere receives the miracle of Christmas – a changed heart and an eternal destiny with God.

“To all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12 NLT)