Why Did the Wise Men Bring Gifts to Jesus?
“The answer to this question is more important than you ever knew! It reveals vital understanding about the very identity and future role of Jesus Christ!
Why did wise men bring gifts to Jesus Christ as a young child? What can we learn from these gifts? Discover the answers in this short video by Foundation Institute instructor Dave Myers. (click on link at the end to see video)
The scriptural account surrounding Jesus’ birth tells of wise men traveling a great distance from the east to present the young Christ child with gifts. What is the reason for imparting gifts to a small child? Who did these men believe they were honoring?
First of all, the Bible does not tell us the exact number of wise men, and they were not present for His birth in a manger as is so often depicted in nativity scenes every December.
Matthew 2:1, 11 shows that the young child Jesus was already in a house by the time the wise men visited and offered their gifts. “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem. … And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
This is only one illustration of how Christmas customs have actually distorted the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. Other articles on this website demonstrate this fact in much more depth. Be sure to read some of these eye-opening assessments of commonly held traditions.
The question we are exploring in this article is why wise men brought gifts to a child who was too young to appreciate them in the first place. What motivated these men to feel it was appropriate to present anything? Who did they think Jesus was, and why did they come all that way?
The answer reveals an often overlooked reality about the Son of God.”
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Festivals Jesus Celebrated
Which days will you celebrate this year? Few give this any consideration, but you should. Some little-known holy days can help unlock benefits God wants to give you!
LISTEN TO THIS ARTICLE
“A little over 60 years ago, my parents were young and raising two small boys—my brother and me—when they learned about the annual holy days of the Bible.
Having grown up attending a mainstream Christian church, they, like most people, had been observing Christmas and Easter. These were the two most important religious holidays for them, and they had no idea that what they were doing might not be exactly what God expects.
Shortly after they learned that the Bible taught the seventh-day Sabbath instead of Sunday, they started worshipping on Saturdays, except for the half day of work every other Saturday that Dad’s job required. (Read more about this in The Sabbath: A Neglected Gift From God.)
Then they concluded that they needed to be baptized. They decided to drive up from their home in Houston to attend a church service that would be held in East Texas by the radio preacher who had introduced them to the biblical Sabbath.
Never heard of them
After the church service, they began counseling with one of the ministers about being baptized. In assessing their readiness for baptism, the minister asked them whether they knew about the seventh-day Sabbath and whether they were keeping it. “Yes” and “mostly,” they replied.
When Dad realized that he needed to fully keep the Sabbath every Saturday, he made a commitment to do so regardless of what would happen with his job. (As it turned out, his company allowed him to have Saturdays off, and soon everyone in the company had both Saturday and Sunday off.)
So my parents were baptized and then made an interesting discovery. They learned that in addition to the weekly Sabbath, there were also annual Sabbaths and that one of them—Pentecost—would occur the next day. They had never heard of these annual festivals of God. The church they had previously been attending didn’t teach them, and they had no idea that God intended for these festivals to be observed today.”
Why Celebrating Christmas Is Futile, Trade the glitz of Christmas for the substance of God.
“People try to hold on to something that has been a focal point in their life, but it cannot fill the void. There is a way to worship Christ and to fill that void.
It is that time of year again: When I have to let others know at work that I want to be left out of their Christmas celebrations. Most of my coworkers think it’s a bit odd, but they humor me.
This year I had one person take offense that I do not my want my desk to be decorated or to be included in any of the celebrations. His desk was decorated for his birthday, and I congratulated him. He then raised his voice at me and asked if I had a problem with the decorations. I said not at all. He then said in a loud hostile voice, “Do you know who else has a birthday this month?” Bewildered by his attitude, I said no. He shouted “Jesus! Jesus has a birthday the 25th of this month!” He then continued to loudly restate this in different ways, several times.
I just let him rant and turned back to my own work, as nothing was to be gained by getting into an argument with him. I am sure he felt he was defending his beliefs against the “war on Christmas.”
This man is a manager over many people (not myself), and I shudder to think how someone under him would be treated who had any beliefs different than his. Our company policy strictly prohibits this kind of behavior toward people of different religious backgrounds.
It’s not that I had requested anyone else not celebrate Christmas in my presence, or that anybody refrain from decorating their own desk. I had merely asked that I not be included. I did not try to impose my thoughts about Christmas. I acknowledge that for many people it is seen as a time to worship Jesus and to spend meaningful time with family and friends.
Vanity in worship
Bible scholars place the birth of Jesus as most likely in September. A simple Internet search of “When was Jesus born?” will give ample answers to show Bible scholars pretty much agree on the time of year. God would have made sure we knew the exact date if it were to be a time to worship our Savior.
“Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).
Can you think of anything more futile than celebrating someone’s birthday on a day that they were not born? And on a day used by their worst enemy? If you would not do this to your best friend or spouse, why does it seem all right to do it to the Creator of the universe?
“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).
You can worship Jesus and do it in vain? Jesus said you could!
When people ask me why I do not celebrate Christmas, I tell them I only celebrate what the New Testament Church celebrated, and that Christmas was added hundreds of years later.
You will not find any semblance of it in the New Testament Church as recorded in the Bible.
Christmas’s troubling roots
An Internet search will show you there was a celebration similar to Christmas that took place at that time, called Saturnalia, which was held in worship of the god Saturn.
From History Today: “It was a public holiday celebrated around December 25th in the family home. A time for feasting, goodwill, generosity to the poor, the exchange of gifts and the decoration of trees. But it wasn’t Christmas. This was Saturnalia, the pagan Roman winter solstice festival. Saturnalia originated as a farmer’s festival to mark the end of the autumn planting season in honor of Saturn ( satus means sowing). Numerous archaeological sites from the Roman coastal province of Constantine, now in Algeria, demonstrate that the cult of Saturn survived there until the early third century AD.”
Here are some of the quotes readily available with an Internet search of “Why is Christmas celebrated on Dec. 25?”
“The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December” (source: whychristmas.com ).
It is questionable whether Constantine ever actually accepted Christianity, as he continued to worship the sun god throughout his life. However, it is undeniable that when Constantine imposed his will at the Council of Nicaea, he influenced many of the common beliefs of Christianity that come down to us to this day.
Here is another one:
“Christmas is on Dec. 25, but it wasn’t always. Dec. 25 is not the date mentioned in the Bible as the day of Jesus’s birth; the Bible is actually silent on the day or the time of year when Mary was said to have given birth to him in Bethlehem. The earliest Christians did not celebrate his birth” (source: Washington Post ).
This one shows the common thought process today:
“Regardless of the pagan background of so many December traditions, and whether or not Jesus was born on December 25th, our goal is still to turn the eyes of all men upon the true Creator and Christ of Christmas. The light of the world has come. And the Christmas season and celebration presents the church with a wonderful opportunity to preach the good news—that men can be made righteous and have peace with God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ” (source: Grace To You ).
Don’t be ensnared
How does celebrating a birthday on a day it did not occur, with entrapments of pagan celebrations and fables, turn people to God? Unfortunately, this celebration can be a major problem for people to give up in order to worship God in truth.
To His people Israel, God said: “Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:30-31).
That is what God has to say about it!
And the apostle Peter wrote, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16).
These traditions and the cunningly devised fables that surround Christmas actually mask who our Savior was! Some of these traditions can be traced all the way back to the ancient Babylonian mystery religion. In Revelation 18 God warns to come out of that Babylonian system so you will not have to receive the plagues that they will receive.
More and more fables are added year after year, and those of us on the outside looking at it can see it is getting more frenetic as time goes on.
People are trying to hold on to something that has been a focal point in their life, but it cannot fill the void. Christmas is a cherished family tradition, and many feel threatened by the references to the obvious syncretism with paganism.
There is a way to worship Christ and to fill that void, and that way is to worship on the days when Jesus Himself worshipped. Those special days have meaning about the hope for mankind, and are completely lacking in any ancient pagan practices.
If you are interested in knowing what many other people believe, observances that give meaning and hope to this chaotic world we live in, check out God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind . From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/why-celebrating-christmas-is-futile
Well, with all the rigamarole of getting the doctor referrals, and my HMO’s permission for chiropractor’s evaluations, x-rays and the such, my back is still out, so not much has been done. That took all week, and now it is a holiday, maybe it will be done next week. In the mean time, I have trouble bending down, getting up, and my knee still hurts. This has hampered my exercising too, and I need to be in shape for my treadmill test next month.
Zack has been here to help me a little bit. We got the dog room ready for “Flower”, the cat whose house was damaged in Harvey. It still isn’t fixed, so she is still here. Flower had to be moved away from the rest of my house into the dog room for a week as she attacks little timid abused “Puddin” who came home from the Cat Habitat for the holidays. Again, Puddin’ didn’t try to sell herself for adoption at the Habitat, and just hid in the little ‘cave’. She is so glad to be here and stays pretty close to me day and night. We just hope that the right home can be found for her. A couple thought about adopting her, but she is terrified of men and he wanted a lap cat, so that wasn’t going to work. My dog room is no longer used for boarding or grooming, just as a mail room for items to be sold on eBay, but the name stuck.
Jay’s mother, Claudia, who had the liver transplant and just now is getting over stomach cancer, came home from the rehab. Jay promised to take good care of her and was sober and pleasant for a few days. He forgot to feed her most of the time, and then he really fell off the wagon, and has been really mean and dangerous to everybody. Claudia had to call the police twice when he was poking her in the stomach, but they wouldn’t lock him up, just told him to go to his house next door. Jay threatened me with a knife when I took some food to her then threw the food at me, and I just want him to stay away from us, but at least she has got him move back to his house now. He broke all the phones in her house before he left, so now bedridden Claudia is alone in her house with just us two neighbors to try to take care of her.
Zack swept out the carpets in the van, to try to make it look better for the Sabbath, and he vacuumed the living room for me, as I can’t push that heavy vacuum while my back is out. He tried to make my printer stop saying that there is a paper jam, as there isn’t, but nothing has worked. I have spent hours this week trying to fix it, even uninstalling it and re-installing it with the disc. So I will go and buy another printer that uses the same ink, as soon as I can. I had just bought new ink for it, and that costs more than a new printer!
Standing in the kitchen wasn’t too bad, so I made Claudia a baked sweet potato stuffed with grass-fed ground beef and gravy, with tiny garden peas on the side. Everything has to be really tender as she has new teeth and they hurt, so she doesn’t like to wear them. The next day I had made her some overnight steel cut oats and apples in a little crockpot, and a New York Strip Steak that was so tender it could be cut with a fork. I seared it, then pressure cooked it, and served it with homemade mixed veggies.
I had made a lot of veggies so I took a crockpot full of Cheesy Veggies for the church potluck, another crockpot of Butternut Squash and Pears, and an Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie Recipe - BettyCrocker.com . Normally I don’t entertain white flour products at all, but I was given a box of Bisquick, and that’s what gave me the idea. The recipe isn’t on the box any more, you have to look it up. It was just as delish as it always was. The pastor’s wife didn’t tell me that she was still under the weather, so I arrived at the church having to ramrod the potluck again. We had several great dishes, including Chicken Alfredo, Chicken and Rice Enchiladas, broccoli, buttermilk pie and some homemade healthy brownies.
The Bible readings were Gen. 41:1-44:17, 1 King. 3:15-4:1, and Rom. 10:1-13, and the Teaching was “Spiritual Growth and Progress” (1 Peter 2:2 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.)
It was cold in the church, and I was glad that I had a warm jacket to wear. The heater would blow cold air when it was cooling off the heating coils. 56 deg. was the high for the day.