In the early 1980s, Kenneth E. Hagin and his son, Kenneth W. Hagin, discussed
the meaning of Christmas during a television taping. The following has been adapted from that conversation.
Kenneth W. It seems that many people keep Jesus as a baby in a manger. They don't simply commemorate His birthday on Christmas. We celebrate our birthdays, and we don't try to keep our children babies. Why is it that some want to keep the Son of God a baby in a manger?
Kenneth E. I really think it may be a subtle device the devil created to have people worship a baby. The second chapter of Luke tells how Joseph and Mary went to the Temple to have the child circumcised and present offerings according to Jewish custom.
But the end of the chapter skips over the first 12 years of Jesus' life. We see Joseph and Mary going up to Jerusalem again, only this time Jesus is 12 years of age. We see Him discussing spiritual matters with teachers in the Temple. Scripture then skips over His life until He begins His ministry.
The four Gospels were not written to tell us about Jesus' birth, and we shouldn't stop there, because if Jesus was just born and that was the end of it, we wouldn't have the Good News.
Christmas to me doesn't mean a baby in a manger. Yes, we keep the traditional day of His birth, but we should think beyond that. He isn't just a man—He is the Son of God.
The four Gospels contain the story of Jesus' birth, His life, His ministry, what He did, what He said, and finally, His death.
It wasn't Jesus' birth that saved us; it was his death—and not only that He died, but also that He was raised from the dead. You can't be saved just believing that Jesus died. You also must believe that God raised Him from the dead.
Kenneth W. That's right.
Kenneth E. Paul said in Romans 10:9, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Of course, we should see the overall view of God's plan of redemption, including that when Jesus was born, He took upon Himself a body. But that's just the beginning of that plan.
That plan of redemption had to be consummated in His death, burial, resurrection, and seating at the right hand of the Father, where He now is and where He ever liveth to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25).
When I think of the Christmas story, I think of the whole plan of redemption. I don't just think of a baby in a manger.