A Christian comedian once said this story would be far different had these been women instead of men. For one thing, women would have asked directions immediately, so they would have got there on time. Once in Bethlehem, women would have helped deliver the baby, cleaned up the stable, made a casserole for the new parents, and bought cute little outfits baby Jesus could wear on his trip home.
But the story is about men. Most of the popular ideas about them are wrong. For instance, “We Three Kings of Orient Are” is a familiar Christmas carol but the only thing the title gets right is that the men came from the Orient, or the East. The Bible does not say there were three. It does not say they were kings. The Bible says only that they were men (the word magoi is masculine, as are the pronouns rendered “them”) from the East; that they brought Jesus, gold, frankincense, and myrrh; and that they were not there the night Jesus was born. In fact, they did not show up until months after his birth. When they found the “young child” he was no longer in a stable but living in a house in Bethlehem. This means they brought him their gifts after Christmas in the new year. So, this is not a Christmas message. It is a New Year’s message.
The gifts these men brought were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Or as a five-year-old in Sunday School put it, “Gold, Frankenstein, and Smurfs!” Each gift suggests a resolution we should offer the Lord in the new year. Starting today, let’s resolve today to:
Obey Jesus as King
The men brought Jesus, gold, the first metal mentioned in the Bible. All cultures and times have prized gold for three reasons. First, it is rare. By one estimate, ...
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