Matthew, Luke and Christmas
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19
The Four Gospels tell us about the life of Jesus Christ. The Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, parallel most of these stories of Jesus. But we encounter something unusual in reading Matthew 2 and Luke 2. Matthew has the only account of the Magi and the slaughter of the innocents, and the other unique history is Luke 2 of the Savior’s birth, breaking a Synoptic pattern.
For, as you know, Luke alone tells of Jesus’ birth, most likely from Mary’s eyewitness account to the physician-author. And Matthew tells the history of the Magi, possibly from Joseph’s eyewitness testimony. Without Luke and Matthew we might not know of the birth of Jesus and visit of the shepherds, nor the journey and gifts of the Magi. Except, God was never going to withhold this wondrous nativity story from His children or from the world.
By the exigency of the Spirit of God these glorious accounts come to light. The wonderful result is this: we have them to treasure and hide in our hearts! Neither Mark nor John were directed by the Spirit to write this, even if they knew it. But Luke was inspired by the Spirit of God to tell one and Matthew the other. And you and I have the great joy of knowing both.
Read again Luke 2 and Matthew 2. It is truly amazing these stories do not grow old. They are never boring. Even with an abundant familiarity, I constantly see something new. They never cease to leave me in awe. This reaffirms the truth that the Word of God is a living book continuously re-revealing the living Savior.
The permanency of these renowned nativity accounts of Jesus reconfirm the protection and preservation of God’s Word by His Spirit; over many centuries of time. 3500 years, to be exact, from the beginning of the encapsulation of the Old Testament; and 2000 years from the eternal inscribing of the New to present day. All to insure that the Gospel is revealed continuously to the world right alongside the dynamic Creation, which shouts the glory of God.
Down through the thousands of years of writing scroll by scroll, copy by copy, print by print, the Spirit hovered over this process, ensuring that the accuracy and existence of the written Word survived every attack by Satan to obliterate it. Instead the Bible has been translated into nearly every world language; which is now projected to be written in all 6500 plus languages by 2025.
These two remarkable accounts are the source of nativity scenes displayed every Advent Season all over the world. If not publicly, as in atheist or non-Christian tyrannical countries, then in countless homes of believers, even in those countries where it is forbidden. Atheism, nor any other-religion, is ever an impenetrable barrier to faith, as is proven over and over.
Most, if not all, know Jesus came into this world in a Bethlehem stable, witnessed by His mother Mary, Joseph, and shepherds; and wisemen came to worship Him in a home in Bethlehem, just as Luke and Matthew attest.
“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; come and behold him born the King of angels; O come, let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”
(1st verse of Latin Hymn, “O Come All Ye Faithful,” 1751)
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