Someone throws a big birthday bash in your honor. Lots of people show up. In fact, so many come that you’ve never even personally met many of them. There are neighbors and co-workers who have never so much as waved to you, let alone visited your house. But everyone has a great time. And at some point someone says, “Why don’t we do this again next year?”
So they do, and the crowd grows. The event becomes wildly popular. Hundreds of people are now partying, dancing and spending lots of money on this annual party. The event still bears your name, but most of the participants know almost nothing about the details of your birth and life.
OK — so you have surmised by now that this scenario is really a metaphor for Christmas, the birthday of Jesus. And you are one of the participants.
But are you among those who have personally met the One whose birthday is being celebrated? How familiar are you with even the facts of that original Christmas story?
Try to answer the following questions without help:
1. In which of the following books of the Bible do we find the Christmas story? a. Matthew, b. Mark, c. John, d. Genesis
2. Which of these Old Testament prophets foretold that the Messiah would be born of a virgin 700 years before it happened? a. Jeremiah, b. Isaiah, c. Ezekiel, d. Nehemiah
3. Who foretold the place of the Messiah’s birth? a. Micah, b. Malachi, c. Nostradamus, d. Joel
4. How was John the Baptist related to Jesus? a. uncle, b. brother-in-law, c. cousin, d. Facebook friend
5. According to the Bible, who saw the baby Jesus in the manger? a. Magi, b. shepherds, c. shepherds and Wise Men, d. the Little Drummer Boy
6. Who prophesied the star of Bethlehem? a. Zephaniah, b. Balaam, c. Josephus, d. The Judean Astronomical Society
7. Who was king when Jesus was born? a. Herod The Great, b. Herod Agrippa, c. Julius Caesar, d. King James
8. Which woman is not mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1? a. Tamar, b. Rahab the harlot, c. Ruth, d. Elizabeth
9. Who announced to Mary that she was going to have a child? a. her Ob/Gyn, b. Gabriel, c. the Holy Spirit, d. Michael
10. After his birth, how long was it before Jesus was presented at the temple to be consecrated? a. three days, b. eight days, c. 21 days, d. 12 years
11. What two people saw the baby Jesus at the temple? a. Zacharias and Elizabeth, b. Anna and Simeon, c. Ben and Betty Hur, d. Aquila and Priscilla
12. Which of the following texts make the case for Jesus being Almighty God in human form? a. John 1:1-14, b. Colossians 2:9, c. Isaiah 9:6, d. all of the above
BONUS: Does the Bible indicate that Jesus had brothers and sisters? a. Yes, b. No, c. Not sure, d. Don’t care
You will find the answers to this quiz at the bottom of the story.
So how did you do?
How well did you know the facts surrounding the birth of Jesus?
And how well do you know Jesus personally, today?
My friend Tom Poole (1946-2004) was one of many who have come to regard Christmas as a great occasion to honor a living friend, not the mere celebration of the birth of an ancient religious leader.
Tom dedicated his entire life to introducing as many people as possible to the Christ of Christmas. And as part of that effort, in 1998 he developed a little Christmas quiz from which I’ve adapted the above version.
Today, if you would be interested in personally and by faith meeting the same Jesus whom Tom had come to know, contact me. I’ll explain to you how that can happen. Just write, call or email.
And then also, plan to visit us at AIIA Institute’s Resource & Study Center in Monson sometime in the new year. On the second Saturday of each month, we’ll be presenting evidence for why the Christian faith is more reasonable and livable than any other belief system in the world. Your questions and participation will be welcome.
1. a; 2. b (Isaiah 7:14); 3. a (Micah 5:2); 4. c (Luke 1:36 and Ruth 4:18-22); 5. b (Luke 2:15-17); 6. b (Numbers 24:17); 7. a; 8. d; 9. b (Luke 1:26); 10. b (Leviticus 12:2-8 and Luke 2:21-22); 11. b (Luke 2:25-38); 12. d; Bonus: a (Matthew 13:55-56)