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God was behind it all: at work in the events of Christmas. Really? Maybe you doubt that. You have a different religion, a different take on the world, or simply a disbelief in any creator. Jesus may have been a remarkable man who’s made an impact on history, but you don’t think he was all that Christians make him out to be.
The real people caught up in the original Christmas story weren’t so different. Admittedly, they were religious folk who believed in God and believed that he sent great prophets and leaders. But they didn’t expect more than that. They didn’t expect God to come down here in a way he had never done before. So when he did, they were shocked.
The story of Mary, Jesus’ mother, is a great example of this. If you read the passage listed at the top of this page, you’ll discover an account of how Jesus was conceived. It was recorded by Luke, a careful historian who spoke with those who had first-hand knowledge. He describes a miraculous conception. This seems unbelieveable: an idea you would expect an historian to write off as the imaginative excuse of a young woman who didn’t plan on getting pregnant. But Luke doesn’t. Instead, he writes about it as a fact.
Why did Luke believe the story? Not simply because of Mary. He knew so much more about Jesus and it all fitted together. Everywhere Luke turned in Jesus’ life, the testimony was the same: this was a man like no other. Luke saw that Jesus is God. Impossible? It feels that way to us. But, as Mary found out, nothing is impossible with God.