Is It His Birthday?

We all know about the historical announcement of Jesus' birth found in Luke 2:8-11. The question is, is December 25th Jesus’ birthday? If we say, “Yes,” then what verse in the Bible supports our conclusion? If we read Genesis through Revelation, we find no evidence of December 25th or any other date for the birth date of the Savior. A search of secular historical records, reveals that December 25th was first celebrated as Jesus Christ’s birthday in the 4th Century A.D (see article).

That piece of recorded history is at least three hundred years after His birth. None of the early Christians in the First Century A.D. celebrated His birthday. In the ancient world December 25th was already celebrated as Saturnalia or a feast day for the Roman god Saturn. Other pagans celebrated it as the birth of the sun god Sol Invictus. Some say December 25th was co-opted by certain religious authorities to keep the people from returning to their pagan practices.

Often the excuse is given that the celebration of Christmas as Jesus’ birthday is a tradition in one’s family and church, or the old “we-have-always-done-it-that-way" ideology. But Jesus warned against man-made religious traditions (Matthew 15:9). When confronted by a Samaritan woman about worshiping God on Mt. Gerazim rather than at Temple in Jerusalem as the ancient Jews did, He prophesied the words found in John 4:23-24.

Dear reader, are you worshiping Christ “in truth” (John 17:17) when you observe His birthday on December 25th? Are you absolutely certain that Jesus’ birthday was December 25th? Remember that Christianity is a religion of objectivity, contrary to what some say (Luke 1:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Christians must have authority for what they do in the name of Christ (Colossians 3:17).

Even if we knew the Lord’s birth was on December 25th, by what Biblical authority would we celebrate it? We must be as certain of what we are doing in the name of Christ as the New Testament is certain. “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). Roelf L. Ruffner

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets