How Many Magi?

If you said 3, you just might be right.  On the other hand, you might be wrong.

Most people say that there were three, likely because they never read the passage in the Bible.  The fact is that Matthew never said how many.  That means, indeed, there might have been anywhere from two to who knows… maybe there were thirty.  For that matter, Matthew might not have known.  He was not an eye witness and might simply have been repeating the story as he was told.  If he was told, for some reason, he never passed it along.  If it was important, the Holy Spirit would have seen fit that it was reported by someone.

The fact is that he reported the event in the second chapter of Matthew.  No one else mentions it all.  Also, by the way, he said they visited him at his home, not a stable or manger.  The best guess is that they visited Jesus after He was at least six months and He must have been less than two years.  Matthew does not refer to him as a baby and Herod, after questioning his advisors, had all boys less than two years old killed in the town of Bethlehem.  On the other hand, the travel time for the Magi (sometimes referred to as kings or wise men) would have likely been at least 2 to 6 months.

Yet, every Christmas, we hear stories how the 3 magi worshiped the Baby Jesus in the manger.  The problem is that they never read Matthew chapter 2.  The problem is that they confused the story with the story of the shepherds.  The shepherds, indeed visited Jesus on the night of his birth as recorded in Luke, chapter two.  By the way, we also have no idea how many shepherds there were, either.

It does seem ironic that the King of Kings was welcomed into the world by shepherds, certainly not royalty.  Moreover, they didn’t represent any royalty.  On the other hand, who on earth would be royal enough to welcome Him?

I would suggest that anyone quoting the Bible read it first.  It just might keep you from looking stupid.  In this particular case, it likely causes no problems.  In other cases, it can mean leading people into hell.  That is bad and God will not hold you guiltless for preaching a false gospel.

Many say that the way to heaven is by being good.  That is to say, it is a reward for good works.  It doesn’t work that way.  If you don’t believe me, read Isaiah 45:21.

If you don’t believe me, read it yourself.  Please read it for yourself, especially before you spread false doctrine.  Then, maybe, it would be a good idea to figure out the real plan of salvation.  Everyone will know it after dying.  Then, it is too late.  The idea is to know it before dying and accept Jesus as your Savior.  (John 3, specifically John 3:2 and John 3:16 and 3:17)

Most of all, if you don’t read it for yourself, please don’t drag others into hell after you.

Unbelievable Stories of the Bible

I am now 70 years of age. I find that difficult to believe, until my hip starts acting up or whenever my angina reminds me of my little heart attack. Mostly, I can’t complain. In fact, if I were born a few years earlier, I would not likely have survived the Pneumonia I had when I was three. They would not have had the penicillin and I almost died even with the wonder drug.

At any rate, over the years I have heard my share of unbelief about stories of the Bible. Maybe the one story that most people bring up is the story about Jonah and the whale. (Not that it is that important, but it was a large fish, not a whale.) Actually, if you’ll excuse the pun, I have no problems swallowing that. If God can build the Universe, I imagine He could build a whole school of big fish if He had a mind to.

Actually, I believe all the stories in the Bible, from cover to cover. However, the one I have the most confusion with is the story of Sampson. Really, the man didn’t seem to have a brain in his head. Not only did he not foresee the possibility of Delilah telling her friends, he saw it at least twice and still trusted her. I’m not going to doubt the Word of God, but it still causes me to pause to think what kind of man Sampson was.

Regardless, I have heard them all, reasons for not believing the Bible. Did you know that God caused the earth to stop spinning for a day. It’s true. He can do that. It is even more difficult than you might realize. Can you imagine the sun heating the same side of the earth for 24 hours. Yet God seemed to resolve that problem too. I don’t know how he did that. Maybe he will tell me one day. Right now, I’m not going to concern myself with it.

My point is this, if you don’t want to believe in God, you will always be able to find a reason. Satan has provided you with more than a hand full of excuses. Indeed, I have been mocked for believing the Bible. Many have been mocked far more than me.

Then again, I am sure that they mocked Noah. …until it started raining.
If you don’t want to believe in God, just admit it. Don’t make excuses. I’m not impressed with them. I’ve heard them all. I’ve heard about the starving people in Africa. I’ve seen horrible people live while good people die. It happens. It sure would have been nice if someone killed Hitler, yet he lived and millions died. I don’t try to explain it. I certainly didn’t let it stand in the way of my salvation.

It is, to be sure, a matter of perspective. People who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior have chosen not to believe. It is their choice. It is not based on knowledge or proof. It is, as Paul called the cross, “a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the gentiles (the rest of us). But to those who believe it is the power to become the sons (and daughters of God) ” (slightly paraphrased)

What I am trying to say is this. If you are having trouble believing the stories it is a small thing. If you reject Jesus as your savior, it is something you will regret for eternity. Let’s first get your priorities straight. If you do, you will find that the rest just falls into place. It will open your eyes and you will see things you never saw before and you will understand as you never understood before.

As Jesus said, “Unless a man be born again, he shall not see the Kingdom of God.” Obviously, it does have implications for after physical death, but it also applies to the here and now.  Those who are born again (accept Jesus as their Savior) are immediately granted limited spiritual sight.