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Common Misconceptions About the Christmas Story

InnkeeperIf you look at a tradition nativity scene, you will see shepherds and wise men gazing adoringly at the baby Jesus. Is this what really happened? Let’s examine scripture to see some common misconceptions about the Christmas Story. I recommend teaching this lesson to your children, so they will understand the story of the birth of Jesus accurately.

Begin by reading Luke 2 and Matthew 2. The Christmas story in Luke speaks about the shepherds, whereas the wise men or magi are mentioned in Matthew. Let’s begin with Luke, because these events take place first.

As you read Luke 2 ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Was there an inn keeper?
  2. Did Mary ride a donkey?
  3. Did the angels sing?
  4. Did the shepherds follow or see a star?

Notice that Luke 2:7 makes no mention of an inn keeper, but only that their was no room at the inn. Many Christmas pageants show an inn keeper, but we must realize this is not Biblically accurate. The Bible story of Jesus’ birth also never mentions a donkey. Hopefully, Mary did not have to walk since she was greatly pregnant, but we cannot assume she rode a donkey.

Please take a close look at Luke 2:13, the angels did not sing but spoke. Angels do sing in Revelation 5, however, they do not sing to the shepherds. I guess the familiar hymn, “Hark! How the Angels Sing” is not Biblically accurate. Some may also believe that the shepherds followed the star, but the star is not mentioned in Luke 2. The sign the shepherds were to look for was a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. This seems like an odd sign to look for. Did the shepherds have to knock on doors or was the baby Jesus easy to find? Remember that they did not see a star hovering over the stable as your nativity set may show.

Now we shall move to Matthew 2, where we pick up the story of the wise men or magi.

As you read the story from Matthew 2, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How many kings were mentioned?
  2. Were the wise men kings?
  3. Does the Bible say how many magi or wise men visited Jesus?
  4. Did they visit the manger where Jesus was born?

In Matthew 2 we only read of one king by the name of King Herod. The 3 Kings as depicted in the song, “We Three Kings”, did not exist to our knowledge. The Bible does not tell us how many came to visit Jesus. However, the word “magi’ is plural so there were more than one. These men were wise men or magi, but not kings. In Luke 2:9, we are told the wise men followed the star, which hovered over the place where the Child was. In Matthew 2, we learn that the Child was living in a house at this time. So the wise men did not make it in time to visit the stable where Jesus was born.

Please read the entire Christmas story to your children during this month of Advent. The story can be found in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2:39. You will want to make sure that they understand what the Bible truly says, rather than learn from the traditions of men.

About Prayer in Every City (651 Articles)
This blog is dedicated to promoting Revival and Spiritual Awakening in America by encouraging readers to pray and develop a closer walk with Jesus.

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