Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

12 Days of Christmas Correction – Missing Men

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 2, 2009


Just about every nativity scene you see around town has shepherds, sheep and wise men.  There is only one problemwith that… there weren’t any wise men at the birth of Jesus.

The Matthew 2 passage tells us plainly several things that demonstrate this:

  1. The magoi (Greek plural of magos magi is Latin, and the Bible wasn’t written in Latin –  see my previous article) said it themselves, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” – Matthew 2:2.  They knew they had missed it.
  2. They came to the house… not the stable (verse 11), so right there, we see that they never even made it to the manger.
  3. But the biggest clue is verse 14:

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

It seems that the magoi told Herod the time of the birth… and that they missed it, so the gifts they brought were belated.

So the short of it is that the magoi were not present at Jesus’ birth and probably didn’t even make it there for up to two years after the birth.  Sorry to rain on the collection of Christmas cards you just bought, but the truth needs to be proclaimed even if it crushes tradition.

Either way, the magoi did play a special role in the life of Jesus.  Just remember that these were men bringing tribute to a king.  They would not have been small gifts.  In fact, the potential is there that the amount brought to Jesus would sustain Mary, Joseph and Jesus for their entire lives.

After Jesus is 12, you don’t hear from Joseph anymore.  If Joseph did pass away, as some believe, how would Mary support the family which included other brothers and sisters if Joseph is no longer in the picture?

If this worst case scenario is indeed true, then it is just one more testament of God’s provision.  For he knew that Mary would need this long before that day came.  The Father took care of the need of the widow years before, and in so doing, represented to us the importance of taking care of the widows, orphans and family.

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