One of the ironies of modern history is that the majority of people who celebrate around Christmas have never really heard the real Christmas story. Oh, many have heard the storyline, and many can even name the characters in the storyline—Mary, Joseph, an angel named Gabriel, some shepherds, some wise men from the East, Caesar Augustus, Herod the king, and of course the infant Jesus. But the majority of people who benefit from this storyline have never really heard the real story.
The story is told in narrative form by the tax collector named Matthew and by the medical doctor named Luke. And the story is retold in poetic form by the fisherman named John in the opening section of the Gospel that bears his name. His account goes like this:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among ...
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Darrell Johnson has been preaching the Gospel since 1968. He has served as Senior Minister for a number of congregations; in the United States, the Philippines, and Canada. He has taught preaching for Fuller Theological Seminary, Carey Theological College in Vancouver, and Regent College in Vancouver, where from 2000 to 2009 he served as Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology, now serving part-time as Teaching Fellow. He has authored eight books, including The Glory of Preaching (IVP Academic) and Discipleship on the Edge: An Expository Journey Through Revelation.