by Jerry Branch

The Worry and Worship of Christmas
Gerald Branch
Matthew 2:1-20
December 23, 2007

Keywords: Christmas; gift; worry; worship; Christmas
To Worry OR Worship at Christmas???
A couple of things...first let's look at verses 1-11 of chapter 2 of Matthew...
I find that a little background helps us to better appreciate this chapter.
We've all seen the nativity paintings by great artists,
and these usually depict pictures of three Wise Men
at the manger bed of Christ along with the shepherds...
And we've also all seen the nativity scenes, even like the one here...
And most of us probably remember singing Christmas songs such as
'We three Kings of Orient Are'...
All of these pictures, nativity scenes, and songs, tell us of three wise men who came to bring gifts.
But here's a Myth-buster...
in actuality, we don't really know how many magi really came...
You see, the Bible doesn't actually tell us that 'three magi' came,
and nor do any extra-biblical records.
Sure, some scholars try to make a case for drawing the conclusion
that the number of magi was three
because there were three gifts presents.
But the reality of the "legend' of the 'kings,' and that there were "three"of them, actually came about during the Middle Ages...
somewhere between the 8th and 12th Centuries
In fact, some of the legends even said their names were,
"Casper, Balthazar, and Melchior." (MacArthur p. 26).
And a 12th Century Bishop even went so far that
he claimed he had found their skulls in their tombs.
But, if we want to stay true to the Biblical account, and therefore remain factual, and not perpetuate myths,
(there's an admonition against myths in 1 Tim 1:4 and 2 Tim 4:4)...
so if we want to remain true to the Bible, then,
then we really need to admit that there are very few "legitimate facts" about these 'Magi' other than those given here in Matt 2.
That's because nowhere do we find how many,
or their names, nor even their ...

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