Carefully read the following story about Jesus and the Wise Men taken from Matthew 2:1-23. There will be a simple test at the end.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
Here's the test...
Whenever you see a nativity scene anywhere how many wise men are there? You're right! Three. Months before the holiday season the nativity scenes line the store shelves. Each and every one has three wise men. If one of the wise men in a set gets broken, the nativity scene is removed from the shelves. Because everyone knows you have to have three wise men in a nativity scene, right?
Where in the biblical text above does it say how many wise men there were? It doesn't. It merely tells you there was more than one. It could have been a dozen, or a hundred. We do not know for sure how many there were. The vast majority of people are convinced there were three wise men. Three could be the correct number, but then, so could any number greater than one be the correct number.
Here's another curious thing about the wise men's visit, the three wise men are always placed at the manger in front of the baby Jesus. Yet, the scriptures say they visited Jesus in a house. The scriptures also indicate that Jesus was about two years old when they arrived after following the star. When the wise men returned to their country without telling Herod of Jesus' location, Herod ordered the slaying of all males 2 years and under according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
Why does what people believe wrong about the story really matter?
It matters because many of those who believe wrongly about the Wise Men are preachers and teachers who are expected to spiritually guide others.
If a preacher or Bible teacher can be so wrong about such a seemingly insignificant Biblical points such as the number of Wise Men and when and where they first saw Jesus, what about other obviously significant points in God's word? Can one who is mistaken about such a simple point be trusted with the deeper points of God's word?
There are numerous passages that point out the importance of God's word, such as:
"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4 KJV - Underline mine.)
"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Revelation 22:19 KJV)
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV)
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV - Underline mine.)
It is very important that we be sure the things we hear about God are from God and not from men. When we hear men say things that are not found in Scripture we have to be even more careful to compare their words to the Bible for accuracy.
"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11 KJV)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; (2 Timothy 4:3 KJV)
If your religious guides or teachers are in error about the Wise Men, how trustworthy are they when it comes to how God expects people to live?
Continually compare what your teachers say to the Word of God. If they are not in agreement with the Word of God, seek teachers who are.
If truth matters to you and we can be of service to you in any way please contact us.
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