But it does say they visited a house (Matthew 2:11), not a stable. Perhaps Jesus was a toddler when they came since Herod killed boys two years and younger based on the time the wise men first saw the star (Matthew 2:16).
Our traditional nativities and plays aren't quite accurate, but I don't think it's a big deal.
However, some popular traditions and teachings contain inaccurate details that are a big deal. They can cause huge problems in our walk with the Lord.
2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." (NASB)
As we celebrate the Word becoming flesh, let's commit to becoming "wise men" who study the Bible carefully and base our lives on the accurate principles of God's written Living Word.
* The reason most people assume there were three wise men is because there were three gifts mentioned.
While misunderstanding when the magi visited has no effect on our faith, some misunderstandings have serious effects.
1. What 3 things does Christ call us to do? What benefit do we miss if we fail to do this?
Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
2. What startling truth is in these verses? Although this passage speaks of doing good, how does it apply to carefully studying Scripture?
Galatians 6:7-10: Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
After working through this study, read my insights HERE.
Copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted