Bill Pringle - Bill@BillPringle
Here are some questions about Christmas for you to answer. Try to guess the answers, and then check your answers from the scriptures.
John's father was a high priest who officiated in the temple. Once a year, a priest goes into the Holy of Holies to offer a sacrifice. It was Zecharias' time to perform this ritual.
Mary and Joseph were poor at the time of Jesus' birth. The sacrifice they offered at the temple was acceptable only if the parents couldn't afford the more expensive offerings.
Both were devout people who saw Jesus in the temple.
Simeon had been promised by the Holy Ghost that he would see The Christ, or Messiah, before he died. He was summoned by the Spirit to go to the temple while the babe was there.
Anna was a widow who had spent most of her life in the temple. Her husband had been dead about 84 years, and they had been married for seven years, so Anna was very old.
Regardless of all the traditions that have grown up concerning the birth of Jesus, there is no mention of how many wise men there were, nor are any of their names mentioned, nor is there any mention that they were kings. One possible reason for the belief that there were three wise men is that there are three gifts identified. They might have brought additional gifts.
Once the wise men arrived, Mary and Joseph no doubt had considerably more wealth than the previously had. No mention is made of what happened to any of that, but they did have to flee to Egypt and back, which might have used up some of it.
See note below
See note below
After visiting the temple, according to Luke 2:39, they returned to their home in Nazareth. The star led the wise men to Jerusalem, where they were told to travel to Bethlehem. However, as they left Jerusalem, the star appeared and led them "to where the child was" (Matt 2:9). That would have been Nazareth, not Bethlehem.
Jesus is refered to as a young child. The Greek word can mean toddler up through pre-teen. Since Herod killed all children under two years old, Jesus was probably about one years old.
In Matt 2:11, it states that the wise men brought gifts, and then three specific gifts are mentioned: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. There may have been other gifts, and there is no mention of how much of each gift was given.
Sometimes, the scriptures don't tell us everything we would like to know about Jesus. For example, what did he look like? The scriptures don't tell us. Because of this, we all have our own thoughts about Jesus. This is important to help us feel closer to Jesus. We sometimes even imagine additional things that he might have done, or probably did. When trying to make a decision, we are often told to "think about what Jesus would do in this situation."
Remember to read the scriptures often and carefully, so that you know what is in them.