Baby Jesus and the great red dragon

Posted in Family, Leadership by Benham Brothers | December 22nd, 2015


The root word of Christmas is the singular reason “the most wonderful time of the year” is under attack in today’s culture.

We know, it sounds simple and borderline cliché, but the fact of the matter is, the birth of Christ – the axis of history – is a game changer for all people and all nations.

But why all the fuss? Why the fight over this little baby boy, born in a stable and placed in a manger? How much more insignificant could one birth be? And why did King Herod issue a decree that all babies under the age of two be killed at the time of Christ’s birth? That’s an odd twist you don’t normally see in the average Nativity scene.

There’s an answer to these questions, and it’s the same answer we’d give as to why a school in Johnson County, Kentucky, removed Linus’ recitation of Luke 2 from its “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” play. (Seriously, if Linus can’t answer Charlie Brown’s question as to what Christmas is really all about, then what is he supposed to say? Is that not the climax of the entire story? These kind of secular inconsistencies continue to baffle us.)

To give a reason for all the fuss over the birth of Christ, we simply need to pull back the curtains and look behind the scenes at the Nativity scene Linus recited to Charlie Brown.

When we look at the average Nativity, we usually see a warm barn with clean hay, doting parents, a couple shepherds kneeling, and animals quietly lying around the baby Jesus. Maybe toss in a few magi from the East and a star overhead – depending on how much someone was willing to spend. (Those suckers can get pricey.)

But what we don’t see – and what Linus didn’t say to Chuck – is what Scripture tells us happened in the heavens long before baby Jesus was born, which pointed to that very night:

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child” (Revelation 12:1-4).

Say what?! Who needs Hollywood scriptwriters when the Bible is filled with epic battles like this?

This would be killer on the silver screen. We can see it now: The scene opens in beautiful Bethlehem as the drone shot over the dimly lit city zeros in on a quiet stable. The camera slowly zooms past the animals, Mary and Joseph, and into the eye of baby Jesus as He gazes past His mother into the starry sky – and at once He sees a great red dragon lunge at Him furiously! The screen flashes dark, and the movie begins.

(If anyone produces that, please send royalties to …)

This passage in Revelation points to the reality that there is a battle taking place on the earth over this baby boy – now our risen Savior, according to Scripture – whose name is Jesus Christ. And the great red dragon, “the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan,” is His mortal enemy.

It was Satan that provided the political agenda of Herod to issue a decree to kill the babies. His target was Jesus, and it still is today.

Jesus escaped Satan’s grasp and accomplished His mission on the earth. And what was that? We look back to Linus’ quote from Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Christ came to bring peace to the sin-darkened world of the great red dragon “who deceives the whole world.” This baby boy brought destiny and deliverance while Satan sought to bring death and destruction. It was this collision that took place the night of Christ’s birth.

Yet the Revelation Nativity story doesn’t just end in Bethlehem – it reveals the continuing battle we face today:

“So the dragon was enraged at the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17).

The fuss is all about Christ in Christmas. Satan hates Him, and so he makes war against anything that remotely resembles Him, especially those who profess to be His. Yet because of Christ we have peace on earth, which still makes this – regardless of the attacks – “the most wonderful time of the year!”


Image courtesy of Prawny at