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Note: this is a guest post from my friend Steve Cummings. You can write to him at:

In the movie “Talledega Nights”, Ricky Bobby played by Will Farrell, is sitting around the table with his family and he’s praying to “dear sweet baby Jesus.” His wife says to him, “Honey, you do know that the baby Jesus did grow up to be an adult don’t you?”  He replies, “I like the baby Jesus best.”

Why do so many people like the baby Jesus more than the adult Jesus? I think I know why. I think it’s because baby Jesus makes no demands and doesn’t threaten their agenda. Adult Jesus demands one’s life. (Colossians 4:4.)

The nativity scene is very deceptive to our understanding of who Jesus was and what he came to do. There is a commonly accepted depiction of the nativity scene as being serene and peaceful.  On the surface it was. However, there was much more happening on that night around that manger than we might understand, because the actual arrival of the baby Jesus created a huge uproar both in heaven and on earth.

Fact is, His coming as the Prince of peace disturbed the peace. Jesus even said later on in His life, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).

There were some who interpreted Jesus’ birth as “God with us.” However, there were others who interpreted His birth as “God against us.” And this was particularly true of the powers that were in charge in the visible as well as the invisible worlds of creation. The Bible tells us that both Herod (visible) and Satan (invisible) were threatened by the birth of Jesus, and sought ways to kill him.

The nativity scene may have looked calm, peaceful, innocent, and serene, but actually it was the start of the most horrific war ever fought, and it still rages on to this day. Jesus defeated Satan.  Now Satan has waged war against us—the offspring. It’s a fight for the souls of man.

Maybe we need to take a closer look at who was lying in that manger. The One in the manger has little power and meaning if we force Him to remain little. The temptation at Christmas is to keep Jesus small.  The temptation is to remember baby Jesus but forget the omnipotent King Jesus, and what He came to do.

A family was taking down all their Christmas decorations after Christmas. The youngest daughter of the family brought a little nativity scene from the fireplace mantle and said, “Mama, you forgot to put away baby Jesus.” Isn’t that what many people do?  They bring the baby Jesus out once per year for a few days in December, and then pack him away until they give birth to him again 12 months later.  This way He never threatens their day-to-day agenda throughout the year.

Do you think Satan hates Christmas?  I think Satan probably loves the Christmas season, because it’s the one time of the year that he can keep Jesus a “baby”.  “Baby” Jesus wasn’t a threat to Satan.  It was what Jesus was to become that Satan felt threatened by.  He knew the baby Jesus would grow up to become KING JESUS, and defeat him. Please read Revelation 12 to get an idea of what Satan was doing at Jesus’ birth. The graphic symbolism in this chapter allows us to sense the panic Satan felt at Jesus birth.

So what will you do with Jesus?  Will you pack him up, or will you invite him in? Will you keep him as a baby, or worship and honor him as your King? — Steve