The Christmas Before Us…
‘Tis the season! With ‘Black Friday’ behind us, Christmas before us, and December upon us, ‘tis definitely the season! ‘Tis the season when more good-will, gift-giving, and gratefully focusing on the God of heaven and His Son Jesus is done by the oft-times zealous but biblically-uninformed masses than at any other time of the year. Christmas lights twinkle everywhere as plastic Santas, reindeer, and manger scenes – complete with their three visiting wise men – adorn homes, consume store shelves, and light up lawns all over… and that’s where we come in.
We, as God’s blood-bought children, must be ever-aware of this much more widespread attitude of welcome discussion about the Savior and why and how He came to earth in the first place. We must be constantly vigilant and always looking for and to take advantage of the slightest opening to talk about what Jesus’ arrival, love, and sacrifice means to us and our lives. And one of the best ways I know of to do that, is found in the very manger and wise men depiction described above.
You see, we don’t have any idea whatsoever – biblically speaking – how many magi there were who made the trip to Bethlehem. No gospel or divinely-inspired writer anywhere ever tells us the number. There may have been two, three, two hundred and thirty-three – or any other number. We simply don’t know because the Bible doesn’t say. But most people don’t know that no one really knows. However, the one thing we DO know, is that no matter how many magi there may or may not have been, they NEVER went to the manger, nor did they visit the newborn baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths that night alongside the shepherds who actually did (Lk. 2:1-17). The magi showed up some considerable time later, visiting the house instead (See: Matt. 2:1-11)!
The reason this becomes so important right now is because if we can get folks this time of year to consider some of the blatantly biblical errors which they’ve always just blindly assumed and accepted without ever examining them “book, chapter, and verse,” then maybe we can get them to question other, more eternally-impacting, commonly-held erroneous beliefs… beliefs such as thinking one can be saved by saying some man-made ‘sinner’s prayer’ (1 Ptr. 3:21), or that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe (Mk. 7:5-13; Eph. 4:4-6). After all, while we must “be ready in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2) to share our awesome God’s truth, ‘tis more welcome when ‘tis the season!