Bible Truth Ministry On The Internet Christmas Pages
from the December 1997 issue of our
former email newsletter "Truth vs. Tradition".
The Biblical record of the visit of the Magi is found in Matthew 2:1-12. In (v.8, 11) Jesus is described as a "young child". This description is repeated in (v.13,14) when Joseph was spoken to in a dream by the angel of the Lord immediately following the visit of the Wise Men/Magi. Matthew's term "young child" differs from Luke's description "the babe" in Luke 2:12 which describes Jesus on the night He was born.
Tradition: Santa Claus: the god of Christmas
Truth: The Lord Jesus Christ: the God of Christmas
In the half century or so that I have observed and celebrated Christmas, Santa Claus has increasingly moved to the forefront. Although he is probably not the "Triple-Threat" some would make him out to be, he is given three very important attributes that only God possesses.
The first of these is omniscience. Everybody knows that he knows "whether we've been naughty or nice" right? Wrong, only God can and does know if we have sinned against Him or whether we have obeyed Him. To tell our children otherwise is not right!
He is also said to have the power to be in every home in the world on Christmas eve. This might not be considered omnipresence, but it is close enough to replacing God in the mind of a child.
Santa Claus is also given credit for being the provident one who can supply the needs or wishes of any child, all they have to do is ask. Sounds like the same relationship we all should have with our Lord.
He, Santa Claus, in essence, is the counterfeit god of Christmas and thereby replaces the real need of every empty-hearted child, the need to receive and know Him whose birth we celebrate, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Tradition: There were three Wise Men/Magi
Truth: The Scripture does not number the Wise Men/Magi
In every extra-Biblical account of the Christmas story, three is the usual number of the Wise Men/Magi. However, the Bible never tells us how many there were. Because of the three different gifts: "gold and frankincense and myrrh" (Matthew 2:11) presented to the young child Jesus, it is assumed that three different Wise Men/Magi came to visit and honor the King of Jews the Lord Jesus Christ. But, there could have been two, twenty two, two hundred or maybe there really were three. In reality, there just had to be more than one because plural forms of the word magi are used (Matthew 2:1,7). Regardless of the number, they surely were men who knew the importance of the star of the King of kings and rightly responded: "They saw the young child ...and fell down and worshipped Him"(Matthew 2:11), the Lord Jesus Christ the One Who alone is worthy!
[The Marvelous Message of Christmas] [Traditions]
[Twas The Night Before Jesus Came] [What is Important about Christmas?]
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