Who Is The Baby In The Manger?

Was Jesus’ Birth Foretold?

The prophet Isaiah had prophesied 700 years earlier that, “a virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and his name would be called, Immanuel, meaning, “God with us.” Isaiah also gives us clues as to the identity of this child:

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” [14]

According to the writers of the New Testament, Jesus is the literal fulfillment of this Isaiah passage, as well as many other prophecies written hundreds of years earlier. Incredibly, biblical scholars tell us that Jesus fulfilled over 61 specific Old Testament prophecies regarding his birth, life, and death (see “Was Jesus The Messiah?“).

So was Jesus the one Isaiah called, “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father,” Prince of Peace?” Is Jesus both God and man like Chesterton and Lewis concluded?

A Christmas Conspiracy?

Those who say, “No” argue that Jesus never claimed to be God or that the history of Jesus was “invented” by Constantine and the 4th century Church. This conspiracy theory was the theme of The Da Vinci Code which sold over 40 million copies. But scholars who have addressed the issues raised in The Da Vinci Code (a work of fiction)have labeled its assertions as false and misleading (see “Mona Lisa’s Smirk”).

One major problem with these conspiracy theories is that belief in Jesus’ deity can be traced all the way back to his immediate followers. When one reads the words of the apostles, it’s clear that they believed and taught that God had visited planet earth in the person of Jesus Christ (see “Did The Apostles Believe in Jesus?”).

God in Skin?

In fact, there are several passages in both Old and New Testaments that speak of Jesus as both “Mighty God,” and Creator of the Universe. The prophets Isaiah, Micah, Daniel, and Zechariah all speak of the Messiah as God. And in the New Testament, Paul, John, and the author of Hebrews all state that the universe was created by and for Jesus Christ. For example, John the apostle, leaves no doubt about Jesus’ divine origin in his gospel account:

“Although the world was made through him, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. Even in his own land…he was not accepted. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” [15]

These words from John’s gospel remind us that the Christmas story is much more than the adoration of a baby in a manger by shepherds and wise men. The Christmas story is God invading our planet with his message of love and forgiveness. Furthermore, it’s the story of incredible hope for those who put their faith in His greatest gift of all: eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Have you received this wonderful free gift of God’s grace and forgiveness? If you aren’t sure, read the following article which explains in more detail why Jesus came to planet earth: Is Jesus Relevant Today?

Endnotes

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