Scripture: "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not," John 1:10-11.
What Does The Bible Teach About Christ's Reception By This World 2000 Years Ago And Has Anything Changed?
There is no evidence of any celebrating of the birth of Christ within the scriptural records of the New Testament church. There certainly is no biblical evidence to support a mid-winter date for His birth.
The origins of what are today termed "Christmas celebrations" are totally pagan. The exchanging of gifts, the feasting and drinking, the decorating of trees and homes -- all may be traced to per-christian paganism.
This so-called celebrating of Christ's birth amongst many is quite contrary to how they live the other 364 days of the year!
The indication of the character of these merrymakings and revelry involves the drinking of copious quantities of alcoholic drinks! The consequences of this is all too sadly known! Because of this, numerous appeals from various agencies calling for restraints are every bit as much of 'Christmas" as the decorated trees and lights!!
It has to be said that we witness the giving of full rein to the indulging in the basest appetites of the flesh and that in the name of honouring the Holy One and the Just.
Let us see how Christ was received by this world when He came to seek and to save that which was lost and endeavour to find out why it was so?
Let us begin by stating that:
THE LORD JESUS IS GOD.
That is the first thing we must learn for it is central to the situation we witness today. This fact has everything to do with His treatment by the world.
The prophets declared His deity. "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel," Isaiah 7:14. The name "Immanuel" means "God with us"! Again, the same prophet said, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace," 9:6.
The deity of Christ was plainly declared at His birth. Consider the angel's words to Mary. "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God," Luke 1:30-35.
Even from before His birth, it was known that Jesus Christ was God.
Thereafter, it was repeatedly proclaimed. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God," John 1:1. Here is a most comprehensive declaration of the deity of Christ.
His divinity was plainly demonstrated. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made . . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made," John 1:3, 10.
Christ is the Creator and is therefore God!
He is the Great Creator. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist," Colossians 1:16-17. "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds," Hebrews 1:2.
Along with these statements that Christ is God, the Creator of all things, we have the innumerable miracles of healing diseases of every kind and degree and also the raising of the dead!
Of course, His own rising from the grave testifies of His deity. "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father," John 10:17-18.
This truth was publicly repeated by the apostles. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth," John 1:14. This was the Apostle John's testimony.
Christ was God, even as Paul declared it. "Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen," Romans 9:13. And again in Hebrews: "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom," Hebrews 1:8. He also stated: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory," 1 Timothy 3:16.
Above all, Christ declared His divinity. "And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death," Matthew 26:62-66.
Across the world the message was carried: JESUS CHRIST IS GOD!
WHILE SINFUL, UNBELIEVING MEN REJECTED THIS FACT, THE VERY DEVILS KNEW IT WAS SO!
One of the very first encounters the Saviour had with devils left us this record.
They cried out: "Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him," Mark 1:24-27.
This happened at the very beginning of the Saviour's ministry so Who He was was evident from the start!
THIS TRUTH WAS VERY MUCH REJECTED BY MEN.
Consider this reaction to the Saviour's statement of His deity. "I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God," John 10:30-33.
This reaction was seen much earlier in His ministry. "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God," John 5:18.