Have you ever notice how some people who would ordinarily be difficult to get along with suddenly become quite joyous this time of the year? Then there are others who are ordinarily very cordial and likeable who seem to become almost "scrooge-like" during this particular time of the year. During this particular time of the year it seems that almost all of our society tries to become somewhat religious, even to the extent that many will decorate their houses in a religious way. Why so? Why is it that most all the world well attend some type of religious service during the week of December 25, but never go back any other time except maybe Easter? Don't get me wrong, I think it is a good thing that many in our society recognizes the fact that the Messiah did come into this world, but I think that this semblance of spirituality falls short of what God would want from us.
There are some serious misconceptions about the birth of Christ. It comes as no surprise, as there is a great amount of misconceptions about all "religious" subjects. Over the next few days we hope to examine some of the misconceptions aboul the birth of Christ.
How many wise men do you see when you think of the wise men that came to worship Jesus? Almost always the answer will be 3, and the reason for this response is that the Bible tells us that these wise men delivered three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. However, the Bible never mentions how many wise men came to worship Jesus (Matthew 2:1). It could have been 3, or it could have been as few as 2, or it could have been as many as you care to imagine. Since the Bible doesn't tell us, we just don't know, and to be dogmatic with a particular number would be to go beyond what God has said.
And what about these wise men? Where did they go when they left Herod? As I just mentioned, most view the wise men as coming to Bethlehem to worship the newborn Jesus, and offering their gifts to Him, but once again this is not what Scripture reveals. When the wise men left Herod and found Jesus, he was no longer an infant, but was now a "child" who was living in a "house" (Matthew 2:11). And it is at this point that they offer the gifts of worship to Him of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And it is likely that by this time Jesus was getting close to 2 years old. You see, the wise men didn't return to Herod after their visit with Jesus, as Herod had requested. As a result of this, Herod calculated the time of the birth to the time it was then, and then had all the male children in the area from 2 years old and down put to death (Matthew 2:16). Jesus would have been in this range.
And what about the star? What do you picture when thinking of the star? Most will picture the newborn Jesus lying in his mother's arms in a manger while the wise men bow down to him, and the star is shining brightly above the manger. But, none of this is accurate according to the Bible. The star didn't tell Herod or the wise men the whereabouts of Christ's birth, but simply told them that he had been born, and then later led them to his "house", not the "manger" (Matthew 2:9-11). The truth of the matter is that the Scriptures revealed the place of the birth of Christ, and this is what these men had followed (Matthew 2:5; Micah 5:2).
Obviously it is not difficult to see that there are some discrepancies in how man relates the birth of Christ and how the Bible reveals His birth to us. Join in with us tomorrow and we well examine what the Bible has to say about the date, the time of year of the birth of Christ.