God In A Stable: Fact Or Fable?

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
–Psalm 19:7-8

Years ago, I was watching one of these shouting-head cable news programs, and the host was talking about the story of Christmas. He was interviewing somebody who was claiming that the accounts of Jesus’s coming in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John cannot be trusted because they are filled with historical inaccuracies. The host said, “Well, let’s quit getting hung up on the facts of Christmas–it’s really the message that is important.”

Is that true? Is it the message of the Christmas story that is important and not the facts? Think about it this way: At that time, the talk show host was undergoing contract negotiations with his network. I wonder if he went to his employer and said, “You know, I really do not care about the facts of my contract. Pay me whatever you want to pay me. I am not getting hung up on the details; what is important is the message that you care about me.” I doubt he would have said that.

Or think about a student in history class who fails an exam on the Civil War. Can you imagine that student going to his teacher and saying, “Teacher, you should not have failed me. After all, the facts are not really important. It does not matter that I do not know the dates of the war, the participants in the war, or the reasons for the war. I understand the message of the war: war is bad, and people should be nicer to each other. Isn’t that what counts?” I doubt that reasoning would go too far with the teacher. No, facts are important because a message is composed of facts.

Make no mistake about it: the story of Christmas has an important message. The message of Christ’s coming is that God loves you with an indescribable love. He loves you so much that He was willing to take on human form and suffer death on a cross to offer you eternal life.

But the message of Christmas is grounded in historical facts that are also important for us to understand: the fact of Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy, the fact of His incarnation, and the fact of His atoning work. This week we are going to look at these three foundational facts that undergird the truth of the Christmas message.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “God In A Stable: Fact Or Fable?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org

 

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