The Most Unbelievable Story Ever Told

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nativity The Most Unbelievable Story Ever Told Have you heard the most unbelievable story ever told?

As far as stories go, I don’t think there has ever been one that has gone more viral than this one.  Yet, this story has some of the most unbelievable tales in it ever told.

Despite the absolutely wild claims made in this unbelievable story, there are literally millions of people that believe it. 

In fact, throughout the last couple thousand years, many have gone well beyond just believing it.  They have actually been willing to die, sometimes gruesome deaths, all because they wouldn’t recant their claim that this story is true.

Of course, I am talking about the original Christmas story.

What Makes the Christmas Story So Unbelievable?

Oh, let me count the ways that the Christmas story from the Bible is unbelievable!  Here are just a few of the details that stand out as outrageous claims:

1.  A Virgin Gives Birth

Really?!?  Isn’t this a pretty unbelievable claim?  When you really think about it, this has got to be one of the most outlandish assertions ever put forth.  Are we really expected to believe a virgin became pregnant without artificial insemination or any other human interaction and gave birth to a baby?

Think about it for a minute.  If your teenage daughter turned up pregnant, then claimed that it was God that made her pregnant.  Would you believe her?  I’d send her for some serious therapy.

Look at it from another perspective.  If you or your son or your brother were dating a girl and she came up pregnant, but claimed she was still a virgin.  Would you buy it?  No way!  I’d believe she had been running around and was trying, in some very bizarre way, to cover it up.  This is very hard to believe!

2.  Angels Appear to People

Have you ever seen an angel?  What are angels?  Would I even know one if I saw one?  The whole idea of angels (whatever they are) appearing to people to explain very strange happenings seems extremely hard to believe.

Yet, the Christmas story claims that an angel first appeared to Mary to let her know she was going to become pregnant despite the fact she was a virgin.  The angel also told Mary to name her baby Jesus and that he was going to be called the Son of God.  Imagine your friend laying this story on you!   Would you believe it?

Wait, that’s not all!  Then, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and tells him not to be afraid to take the pregnant Mary as his wife because her baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  What?!?

Finally, an angel appears to the shepherds in the fields tending their sheep to let them know a baby was born in a manger in Bethlehem.  The angel also tells these shepherds that this baby is an anointed one from God.  Okaaaay, pretty weird stuff, if you ask me.

What on earth were these people smoking that they had visions of supernatural beings telling them such outrageous things?  Apparently, ancient Israel was a pretty groovy place, if you know what I mean.

3.  A Star Guided Wise Men from the East

Let me give you yet another amazing claim of the Christmas story.  We are to believe that a special star appeared in the sky overhead where Mary’s baby was born.  It has been called the Star of Bethlehem.

We  are also to believe that some wise men noticed this special star and that it somehow guided them directly to the place where this particular baby was born.

Come on!  This star wasn’t exactly a handheld GPS receiver.  Bethlehem was a tiny village back in those days and I’m sure that a lot of other babies were also being born all over the place about the same time that Mary gave birth. 

Isn’t this whole idea of a star leading men from the East to the place where Mary had her baby just a little too far-fetched?

4.  The Rest of the Story

Of course, the bizarre and unbelievable claims of the Christmas story don’t really stop with the birth of Mary’s baby.  It goes well beyond that.  Way, way, way beyond that!

Jesus grows up and ticks off the Jews and the Romans enough that they join forces to arrest him, beat him and finally torture him to death in a way reserved for their very worst criminals.  Of course, given all the crazy claims he makes (I won’t go into them here) and the story of his birth, it is easy to imagine that they thought he was completely insane.

It is after he is dead and buried that the story really gets unbelievable.  His friends claim that he returns from the dead!  He just gets up and walks off!

For them, this is the final proof that he is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. 

His friends believe that somehow by dying on a Roman cross he has paid the penalty of all of our wrongdoings.  They start going around telling everyone that if you will simply believe this incredulous story that you can receive God’s forgiveness and live eternally in heaven after you die.

As Paul Harvey would say, this is the rest of the story.  Boy, is it a doozy or what?  Again, the most unbelievable story ever told, but yet one that has endured and been more viral than anything that ever hit the front page of Digg.

This Unbelievable Story Is Why We Celebrate Christmas

God chose things the world considers foolish
1 Corinthians 1:27 (NLT)

Millions the world over believe this wildly unbelievable story.  Those that believe are called Christians and I am one of them.  It isn’t very popular to be a Christian.  It never has been.  It takes guts to believe a story that God Himself knew would seem foolish to many on the surface.

You have to dig into it before it starts to unveil its truth to you.

If we were face-to-face right now, you might ask me why I believe something that admittedly seems far-fetched and over-the-top crazy.  Well, because I’ve dug below the surface.  I’ve given it a fair chance and here’s what I’ve found:

  • The numerous documents we have that tell the stories about Jesus in the Bible have been critically examined by numerous scholars and are generally considered historically reliable and trustworthy
  • As I already mentioned, all but one of Jesus’ closest friends died gruesome deaths because they would not recant their eyewitness testimony to the truth of this story despite how unbelievable it seems at first.
  • Archaeology supports the historical reliability of the Biblical accounts of Jesus’ life.  Why would the writers go to such painstaking detail for a work of fiction?
  • There is a pile of circumstantial evidence that also supports the accuracy of the claims made in the Christmas story.

Still, it takes a leap of faith to believe this unbelievable story.  I don’t think anyone would argue that.  This is the way it was designed.  I challenge you to check it out for yourself at least once during your lifetime.  Here’s what I would suggest:

  • Study some of the evidence I linked to above.
  • Read some of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament for yourself.  If you don’t have a Bible, you can find one online or at your local library.
  • Ask a friend if you can attend a few church services with them.

Look at how long this story has endured.  Look at how many people have given everything they have to it.  Look at the millions of others that have believed.  If it were a complete work of fiction, don’t you think it would have been exposed by now?

Do you believe the most unbelievable story ever told?

Photo by Secret Tenerife

PinExt The Most Unbelievable Story Ever Told

30 thoughts on “The Most Unbelievable Story Ever Told

  1. Great article Jeff. I, too, believe. I actually had to teach a class on the Bible at the school where I work; I wasn’t looking forward to it, but it definitely made me think about all of these things. Merry Christmas!

    • Denis – Thinking through your faith is a very good exercise. It is important that you investigate the truth for yourself and be sure you stand on solid ground. Teaching others is always a great way to do this.

    • Stephen – I’m sorry you were disappointed by my article. The book you mentioned certainly presents an alternative view to Christianity and other major faiths. Every person has to examine the evidence for themselves and make their decision about what is true. Obviously, you and I have done so. We just wound up on opposite sides of the fence. I wish you the best!

      • Ditto Jeff! Just wanted to be sure you have perused the case from the ‘other side’. ;) Hope you have a Merry Christmas, however you observe it! (Religiously or Secularly)

    • Paul – It really does add a lot to Christmas when you believe there is more behind it than just presents and football. I hope you have a fantastic Christmas celebrating His birth!

  2. I believe this crazy story! A book I read that I really enjoyed was “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. It presents the evidence from a journalistic perspective.

    I also like to think of the case for Christ in terms of the question, “Was Jesus a lunatic, a liar or Lord?”. So many people try to say that Jesus was a great prophet or a good example, but really he cannot only be a prophet or a great guy. He claimed to be the Son of God directly, so that means he was either delusional (lunatic), he was lying (a prophet surely wouldn’t blaspheme) or he was who he said he was. I believe the latter.
    .-= Dustin | Engaged Marriage´s last blog ..Announcing “Improve Yourself! 2010? =-.

    • Dustin – I recently listened to the audio book version of “The Case for Christ” and I agree that it is a fantastic resource. For me, I was already a believer when I listened to Strobel’s book, but the evidence I heard just strengthened my faith. I’d also recommend it to anyone that wants to explore the original Christmas story a little further.

    • Marci – Thank you for reading! I sincerely hope this post will provoke a lot of people to take a moment to consider the spiritual side of Christmas.

  3. Beautiful post, Jeff!

    Did you know the wise men actually found Jesus, Mary & Joseph in their home about two years after his birth? That’s why Herod ordered all baby boys under two killed and not just newborns. Still amazing to think that these first astrologers were led to their home!!!

    And I believe the crazy story too!
    .-= Mandi @ Organizing Your Way ´s last blog ..Question of the Day: What Would You Do Differently? =-.

    • Mandi – Thanks! I just recently attended a class where the teacher made this very point about the wise men. I think it is because they usually appear in the manger in nativity scenes that most of us believe they were there shortly after Jesus was born instead of a couple of years later like you point out.

      It is very important that we verify our facts because popular culture has a way of distorting the truth. Here is a great site that clears up some common misconceptions held about Jesus’ birth.

    • Peter – It really did change the world. This story has had an incredible impact on history. Here is an article that lists some of what has resulted from Christianity even if you put aside sprituality and faith. It is an amazing read!

  4. Yes, it’s a crazy story, but it’s a good one and I believe it too. One thing you didn’t mention in the end of your writing was “Ask a friend what Christianity means to them?” We who are believers have a testimony. If you are an unbeliever, why not ask a believer why he/she believes? Find out more than just evidence…find out the spiritual reason. It’s good stuff.
    .-= Dan Smith´s last blog ..Seminary Update =-.

  5. Wow, this is a GREAT post. I’ve been lurking in your blog for quite some time, but never really felt compelled to say anything til now. Thank you for such an interesting perspective and take on this biblical topic. :)

    • BD – I’m glad you enjoyed the post and decided to comment! I enjoy hearing when my articles strike a chord with my readers. I hope you’ll stick around and tell a few friends about my site. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  6. I loved the story…..I have always been a firm believer in Christ.
    Relgion is one of the biggest arguements today, it will always be. People want proof rather than to have belief. What people don’t understand is that every answer they want is in the Bible, they need to research the Bible rather than read and search in an unbelievers non-fictional book;
    Many scientist whom were unbelievers have done much research that now has lead them to know that there was infact a messiah on this earth. Many signs , many many and many are all pointing out—if you research it, you will find it.
    Also, the Bible states that the gates to Heaven is Narrow and to Hell is Wide……so what do you think that is saying?
    Also, even while Jesus himself healed the Blind, deaf, sick, fed the poor ..and so much more, many people still didn’t believe him. Many threw things at him, called him names….So if Jesus himself couldn’t have everyone believing him, even while face to face ….then there is no way that people completing God’s Will, etc….will convince everyone that Jesus is true.

    Read online:: “Beyond Blind Faith” by Paul E. Little

    ” Is There A God” by Marilyn Adamson

  7. I don’t think God needs to be believed Stephen. It’s just obvious that we need to believe in order to trust. You don’t step on to a bus unless you believe it will take you to your destination safely! You could try John Lennox as an antidote to Dawkins. Have a wonderful New Year!

  8. Dear Jeff,
    I think it really points out the reason we celebrate Christmas. I hope you have a great season of lent.

    Kenny

  9. i dont get this do u believe in christ or not? i strongly believe in it! for one this story as u call it has been the guidence for people for many years so i mean know body is gonna just set and write a story such as this and then somehow outta know where people believe if that was the casse everyone would believe all book such as egder allan poe

  10. I’ve struggled a lot over the years with the God delusion concept, the proof of Jesus, so on and on. What I’ve found is that we must believe in what Christ taught, and be obedient to those teachings. If you pursue God his way, God makes himself manifest within us. I know Christ lives because he lives in me. Period, that’s all the proof I need, and that is all that matters, every thing else in this regard is secondary. Christ taught the truth about how to live, and the sooner we trust in that and be obedient to it, the sooner we learn what true joy is. Love that surpasses knowledge, and a peace that surpasses understanding.

  11. I spent my early years hearing fables and lies. At some point I became atheist, in the truest sense of the word. Many years later, after becoming very low in life, I re-discovered the bible. I read it in it’s entirety and studied over it, along the way praying for hours a day. Very soon in my journey I literally felt a huge weight lift from me. Physical, emotional, spiritual, or psychologically I don’t know but it was real. I soon experienced freedom and peace that I had never considered.

    Within a years time I discovered too many logical reasons to not “believe in the bible”. I wish I could, I really, really do, but there is more to “God and Truth”, if it exists, than what is in that book and I am not sure where or what it is. Ten years have passed and that peace and freedom has never gone away and I still pray in hope that Jesus really can hear me ..really IS.

    Putting too much faith into a book that has passed hands and tongues like The Whore of Babylon is just not possible for me. So yea, a little too unbelievable for me and not just because of its content but because of its method of passing. I am forever and ever grateful for whatever that initial prayer did for me though.

    • S.O.C., God doesn’t ask us to believe in a book. He wants us to believe in Him. You obviously do. I admire your willingness to change your mind once you explored things further. In one sense, it isn’t easy to believe, but in another it is almost impossible not to. Your story illustrates this exactly. Thanks for commenting!

  12. Wow….just one big fairy tale that’s all that is, besides, instead of reading the facts why don’t ppl read them from another perspective

  13. This can be incredibly fascinating, You might be a truly professional tumblr. I’ve signed up with your feed and look toward seeking for a lot a lot more of your existing excellent submit.

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