We most often, at Christmas, read the story of Jesus’ birth from the Gospel of Luke. In that account we encounter Mary and Joseph, the trip to Bethlehem, the manger scene, and the angels and shepherds. Only in the Gospel of Matthew do we find the Magi who followed the star. The Gospel of Mark skips the story of Jesus’ birth and begins with John the Baptist and Isaiah’s prophecy of the arrival of Jesus, “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way.”
John’s Gospel encapsulates the Christmas story in a couple of verses. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1,14).
It is interesting that John’s Gospel, while presenting the mystery of the birth of Jesus, presents for us the mystery of our rebirth. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
John’s gospel shows us that God the Son was born in the flesh so that we may be born of the Spirit. And Jesus tells us, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, You must be born again” (John 3:6-7).