The Nativity You Know Is A Lie

We’re all familiar with the scene. It’s a quiet, starlit evening, Mary and Joseph are reclining comfortably in a quaint country stable. Baby Jesus is sleeping, well, like a baby. As Mary and Joseph rested from their journey, reverent, orderly shepherds and noble wise men visited the happy couple and brought gifts to honor Jesus.

That picture of the first Christmas is wrong.

Not So Silent Night

If we examine the actual circumstances surrounding Jesus’s birth, we find that it wasn’t what we’ve always been told.

The 80-mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem would’ve taken at least four days on foot. It was a hazardous journey through rugged terrain, fields and rural towns. Mary was very pregnant, and probably under some emotional stress as a teen mom whose marriage was nearly over before it started (Matthew 1:18-21).

At that time, animal stables in Bethlehem were dark, damp caves in which livestock slept and ate. This was not a tidy, sterile environment for a newborn. The shepherds in that region were social outcasts of low economic status and were looked down on by the rest of society. It was not a calm, comfortable, silent night. It was dirty, smelly, awkward and definitely not charming.

Contrary to modern depictions, the wise men didn’t even visit Jesus immediately after His birth. They arrived at Jesus’s home when He was about 2 years old (Matthew 2:10).

Well Meaning But Wrong

Christmas carols and porcelain nativity scenes are well meaning, but they don’t do justice to the weight of the events that took place that night in the Israeli countryside.

The most important thing we should remember about Christmas is that God came to save sinners (John 3:17). Jesus came from heaven into our mess, not because we deserved it, but because we needed it.

As we celebrate Christmas, let’s remember the beautiful mess the nativity scene was. Let’s remember that no matter how messy parts of our lives can be, Jesus is for us and is with us. In the midst of our messes, Jesus joins us and begins to transform us, and that is something worth celebrating.

Related Content

to Discover More

Article

Two people your Christmas play probably forgot

salvation jesus christmas faith following jesus

Growing up in a small town in the South, you didn't have to be a Christian to know the Christmas story. ... read more

Read Article

Article

Three things the resurrection changes

eternity resurrection salvation jesus

For many, this Easter was like every other. The Easter Bunny left his eggs, families gathered around Sun... read more

Read Article

Article

Why Jesus' birth matters to you

jesus christmas missions

How would you describe Christmas in a nutshell? The most wonderful time of the year? Food, gifts, and f... read more

Read Article

Article

What advent is and why it matters for you

jesus christmas traditions

All year I look forward to Christmas, to the cooler weather, the time with family, and the opportunity to dec... read more

Read Article

Article

Watch the Christmas story amaze your kids

salvation jesus christmas

Have you ever tried to imagine what Jesus' birth was like? Gather your family and friends and see th... read more

Read Article

Article

What is Epiphany and why does it matter?

jesus christmas traditions

You decorated, traveled, ate, open gifts, and ate some more. You rang in the new year with a long list of res... read more

Read Article

Devotional

Dear God, help!

From 2 Thessalonians: A 5-Day Devotional

evangelism salvation jesus

The news and social media bombard us with the pain and destruction happening in the world — suicide bom... read more

Read Devotional

Sermon

Something For You

From Something For You

Dec 24, 2018

salvation jesus christmas gospel

All of us experience pain and brokenness. Our common response is to blame others, blame God, or blame ourselv... read more

Watch Sermon

Sermon

World Changer

From Something For You

Dec 10, 2018

salvation jesus love grace

God is not a tribal god, but a global God. In this message, Clayton King shows us that Jesus’ unstoppab... read more

Watch Sermon

What's happening at NewSpring Church?

  • Need to Know: Weekly email to keep you informed about what's happening at NewSpring
  • Fuse News: Email for Fuse parents sent on the first Monday of the month
  • KidSpring Scoop: Email sent at the beginning of each series to give you the scoop on what's happening in KidSpring
  • Read My Bible: Daily devotional sent via text from 6-7am

Subscribe