I was walking through a store today and I saw a sign that had Santa’s face. Underneath his snowy white chin, there was the word, ‘believe’. Now, that got me thinking, do we believe in Santa? Why do we believe in Santa? Why do we not?

So since it’s the holidays, let’s kick back for a moment and indulge in some frivolous philosophy and consider the question of Santa.

Now, who is Santa? Some say he’s actually a real person, a saint, whose generous deeds were known far and wide and that’s why his spirit of giving is celebrated even till today. But there are those who think that he’s the creation of some advertising whiz kid, born to get children to demand presents from their parents.

And what does Santa do? He spends his whole year making a list and checking it twice, trying to find out who’s naughty and nice; just so that he can make sure he gives presents to only the deserving kids. Sounds like a meanie, doesn’t he?

Santa is purported to also have a toy factory, and he has elves making toys for the children. But seriously, have you ever taken a look at Santa’s toy factory? Every cartoon and Santa-themed Christmas movie always has the elves make wooden pull trains and rocking horses. Don’t kids ask for PSs? How many kids nowadays want those kinds of toys?

And the man only works once a year, although he’s one efficient worker, I must say. After all, he is able to traverse the world in 24 hours, riding a reindeer drawn sleigh. Phileas Fogg took 80 days to make that trip and he was travelling in a hot air balloon.

And don’t get me started on his appetite. Consuming milk and cookies from every house in the entire world? How does he keep his doctor happy when the time comes for his annual medical?

Yes, I do jest, and I think you get my point. But doesn’t it strike you as strange that many of us have spent quite a significant portion of our lives believing that Santa existed? And after we outgrew the magic of Santa, we spent a significant portion of the rest of our lives perpetuating this false belief in our children. Why did we do that?

And not only that, we were more at ease with helping our children believe in Santa than teaching our children about Jesus, weren’t we? We are more at ease and we spend more of our time believing in and perpetuating the belief in our children, of a man who practices ‘do good, get good’, wants something in exchange for his outdated and impractical gifts and works only once a year; but we have a problem believing in Jesus. Why?

Think about it. It is a verifiable fact that a man call Jesus, fitting His description, lived in the exact place and at the exact time that the Bible said He did. There are manuscripts, artifacts and anecdotal recounts of His presence, amongst other forms of evidence.

Also, Jesus doesn’t just work one day a year. He works as often as we ask of Him, for He says,

“…whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

And He doesn’t just give outdated toys. In fact, He doesn’t even give toys. When Jesus gives, He

“…satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!” Psalm 103:4-5 [AMP]

He gives you things that you need, as well as things that you desire; things that a person of your age can use and is always suitable for your situation. And His gifts are never indulgences that come with consequences, like a rich, liqueur-laced chocolate cake is; His gifts renew your youth and give you strength to overcome your challenges, just like the tag line of a famous Austrian energy drink with Thai origins says, the gifts of Jesus ‘gives you wings’.

In fact, so wondrous and varied are His gifts that the Psalmist says this about them.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:2-5

But don’t just read the words, look at what Jesus did when He was here. He healed the lepers (Matthew 8 and Luke 17), He healed the lady with the flow of blood (Mark 5), He raised Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5) and Lazarus (John 11) from the dead, He turned water into wine (John 2), He healed Peter’s mother from her fever, He healed the Centurion’s servant from a distance (Matthew 8), He made the blind to see (John 9) and the lame to walk (John 5) and forgave sins. Not only that, Jesus made it His deliberate effort to reach out to the social outcasts. In fact, this was said of Him many times.

“And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” Mark 2:16

So much so that He eventually made a name for Himself,

“a friend of tax collectors and sinners” Matthew 11:19

But most of all, Jesus came to bring about the new covenant

“for this is My blood of the [new and better] covenant, which [ratifies the agreement and] is being poured out for many [as a substitutionary atonement] for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28 [AMP]

So that “…as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, 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

Because when Jesus died for us on the cross, He became our substitutionary atonement for our sins, for “Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

And right now, when Jesus is not here with us in the flesh, it is because He has gone away to His Father’s house to prepare for us a room.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3

Now, I know that you are thinking. All that’s just fairy tales, conjured up by some medieval men. Well, so is the story of Santa, and still you believed. So what’s the harm in giving Jesus a try?

You know, when Jesus gives, He doesn’t need to see who’s naughty and nice. He knows who’s been naughty and nice. And as long as you believe in Him, His salvation, His righteousness; and consequently His provision and protection are yours to have for all eternity, even if you have been naughty. Because His love for you lasts through all eternity. Now, that is not something you can say of Santa.

And Jesus doesn’t need your dad to make Himself real to you, nor does He need you to make Himself real to your children. Receive Him and He will show you just how real He is, through each and every event of our life.

So if you believe in Santa, despite the outrageous and impossible things that he seems to do, then you will have no problem believing in Jesus. And if you have outgrown Santa because there was a time when Santa let you down and the magic of his myth disappointed you, you are the perfect candidate for Jesus. For when you give Jesus a go and believe in Him, our Father has promised, that

“…they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.” Isaiah 49:23

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