Faithlife Sermons

The His Story of Christmas

Notes & Transcripts

Proposition: His story is the true history of Christmas


So why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? For the 1st three centuries the Church did not celebrate Christmas on that date. In fact they did not focus on the birth of Christ very much at all. They celebrated Easter yearly but not the birth of Christ. During the early Church the Roman empire was still in power. Two words to declare their beliefs. “Sol Invictus”, which means “the Unconquerable sun”, they considered the sun to be unconquerable and offered the sun worship. Every year they would come together to celebrate their god “sol” with large bon fires and mass celebration, they did this yearly on December 25th. During this time there was yet another cultic activity called the Mythris cult. They were very popular among soldiers with their main symbol as a bull. Yearly they would submit to baptism not in water but in bull’s blood. The day they performed this ritual yearly was on December 25th. At this time the Church was not trying to bring in pagan rituals and appease the celebration of the god of the Romans. Instead they decided to celebrate the birth of Christ on the same day to combat these pagan rituals with the truth of Christ. This was not about incorporation of pagan deities but about celebration of the true Deity and Incarnation of Christ.

I. His story is about real people in real situations (1:18-23)

A. Mary and Joseph were engaged

1. This was closer to being married than our engagement

2. Three steps to Jewish marriage

1. Arrangement

2. Engagement or Betrothal (legal and binding)

3. Consummation of marriage

2. To separate at betrothal required legal action

1. Take her to the priest to be embarrassed and stoned

2. Divorce her quietly

B. They were in love

1. Joseph decided not to carry out the death penalty

2. Joseph wanted to save her from pain and embarrassment

C. Joseph knew his Bible

1. Joseph knew about the coming Messiah from scripture

2. He wanted to believe Mary but he was having real issues

D. The answer was revealed

1. An angel appears to Joseph in a dream

2. Joseph didn’t argue, he believed

3. Prophecy was fulfilled

E. Joseph obeyed the angel and accepted Christ as his son

II. His story is about real people with real authority (2:1-6)

A. Herod was ruthless

1. He killed several of his sons

2. He was always constantly afraid of plots to over throw him

B.Herod was called “king of the Jews”

1. The Magi made him anxious

2. Herod would kill anyone to stay in power

C.The people were afraid of him (v. 3)

1. He was a mad man

2. They didn’t know what he would do

D. The priest and scribes knew what the Bible said (v. 5)

1. This is the second prophecy fulfilled in Matthew

2. The priest should have looked for more prophecy to be fulfilled

III. His story is about all people not just the Jews (2:7-12)

A. The Lord brought gentiles to worship Christ

1. The Magi came looking for Christ

2. He gives the Jewish leaders an opportunity to come

3. The Jewish leaders are not listening to God

B. God leads these pagan Magi to Christ for a reason

1. Matthew opens with Gentiles coming to Christ

2. Matthew closes with Christ going to the world

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19)

C.The Magi have the correct response to meeting Christ

1. They rejoiced over Christ

2. They bowed down and worshiped Christ

3. They gave offering to Christ as worship

a. Gold = Royalty or Kingly offering

b. Frankincense = For Deity or worshipping

c. Myrrh = Suffering

4. They obeyed the Father for Christ

1. The Lord warns them in a dream

2. They go home another way

IV. His story is about real suffering (2:18-23)

A. Killing came very easily to Herod

1. He killed several of his sons

2. Killing the Jewish babies didn’t faze him one bit

B. Herod fulfilled prophecy with his evil action

1. This is the third prophecy fulfilled in Matthew

2. We still do not see a max exodus to follow scripture by the Jews after this happens (They still don’t get it)

C. Herod had originally named his youngest son his successor but he killed him first, now Archelaus was the new ruler of Judea

1. They Royal family move to Nazareth instead

2. This fulfills our 4th prophecy of Matthew


The His story of Christmas is for all nations. Christ came in to a set of real parents during real circumstances. From the very beginning the Devil was trying his best to stop redemptive His story. When Mary and Joseph were faced with His story they obeyed. When the Pagan Magi were shown His story they worshiped. What is Christmas all about for you this year? Is it about food? Is it about presents? How about getting together with old friends and family? None of those things are bad, but they are not what Christ is about. Christmas is about one thing His story.

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