“With No Malice”©2012
A General Interest Opinion Column by an opinionated person.
Vic Topmiller Jr.
“The hour in which the Prince of Peace was born”.
William Cullum Bryant.
In Those As These
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came Wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him. When Herod the king heard these things, he was troubled and all of Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where the Christ should be born. And they said to him, in Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written of the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall come a governor that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.” Matt. 2: 1-8 KJV
“When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 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 unto him gifts: gold, and frankincense ,and myrrh. And being warned by God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.” Matt. 2: 9-12
It says that after they had talked to the King, (Herod) they went on their way.
WOW, what a quaint way to capsulize a great and lengthy conversation. You would know that Herod was at least a little concerned about an interloper trying to muscle in on his territory, especially because Herod was not a traditional Jew, he in fact was an Edomite, not the line of David, and if the anticipated Messiah showed up and the people aligned with him, instead of the Roman ruler, then down would go Herod along with his political supporters and the hierarchy of the religious leaders. Even if it meant the usurpation of God's plan, this new threat must be extinguished.
Did you ever notice over time and history how people who have risen to power and authority over other people become deceitful, secretive and dishonest? Even in our own world in our own time, have you watched how our friends who, by some stroke of luck or circumstance, have attained a political position change in character and personality to the point that we hardly recognize them anymore? Did we change about them or what?
And so, I imagine that it was more than a casual “How are you and glad to meet you” type of conversation that Herod had with the Wise Men. I imagine that Herod had his brightest and most conniving counselors and advisers he had on his staff. Oh yes, they were all in it together, if the top crumbles they all crumble together. Like partners in crime.
You can imagine how intense the conversation was. And how transparent. And obvious.
And guess what, in their haste to get out of there, it's a wonder they saw that the star had reappeared. It must have been a star of divine creation, not a natural phenomenon as some would try to make you believe. You see, if it had been a natural occurrence then it would have been nothing more than a supernatural coincidence. Come on, surely no one would believe that the Savior of the world would be a coincidence. It's all about – are you able to believe? I think maybe folks have gotten to the point that they believe that anything can be explained in technical or theoretical terms. In other words, they don't want a God who can perform miracles.
Getting back to the star. In all that I believe, it could have only been a miracle star created at God's command for the purpose at hand. Oh, and later to adorn my Christmas tree. Or else, how could you explain that the star was bright enough and big enough to guide the wise men to the Savior and not Herod? If you don't believe that God could make one more star what do you believe he can do?
You know, Dads, you ought to memorize the story of the star and the birth of Christ, then when the kids exclaim about the beautiful star at the top of the tree you could say, “Well kids, it was in this wise, that in Bethlehem, the city of David, etc.”
And it says that the wise men saw the star and rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And then when they came into the house they saw the young child with Mary.
Now some say that it could have been as much as two years from Christ's birth until they finally got there. Probably less. If you do the mileage conversion from Babylon to Bethlehem it would have taken less than two years, but neverthe less, by then the scene would have been different from when the shepherds arrived from just out at the edge of town.
What do you think they saw, an infant in his mother's lap, a toddler scooting along the floor, or maybe walking to greet them at the door? These are areas where we get to imagine our own scenario. But you should make your own picture. Oh yes, thank goodness, by now they have moved into a house.
The Wise Men had gifts. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Significant? Sure, you've heard the stories as to what each represented in the line of royalty, but more, they were extraordinarily expensive.
In a dream, God told the Wise Men not to return to Herod with the news but to get out of town posthaste before Herod realized that he had been had. Oddly enough, by some standards, they did as God told them.
Now The Christ Child was and is a gift to the world. For every human being. It's all about can you believe. But being a King to the world meant he had no place to call his because where he was supposed to reign, the people he was promised to as the Messiah, well, they rejected him. Didn't want him. Some people have a hard time wanting him. I wonder why?
Just the same, to avoid death at the hands of Herod, (which would never have happened) Joseph packed up the family and moved to Egypt. All to say, that the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh didn't get used for the purpose they were designed, but rather they provided the money needed to survive in a foreign land until the death of a heathen king.
That's My Opinion.
“The Real Meaning of Christmas”