Illustration results for the birth of jesus
Again, there’s a great deal of Internet research and revisionist thinking going on about these characters in the Christmas story. Some of have suggested that things would have been considerably different if these wise men had actually instead been wise women. And things sure would have been different. If it had been ‘Wise Women’ instead of ‘Wise Men’, they would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical gifts from Baby’s-R-Us, including diapers, wipes, bibs and formula. But that’s an entirely different story…
There was a art contest held in a local school one Christmas season a few years ago in East Texas. One of the prize winners was a picture drawn by a nine year old boy showing three men, offering gifts to the baby Jesus in his manger. What made the picture unique is how the three gift presenters arrived – there was fire truck on the side of the picture.
The principle asked the boy about his decision to draw the truck and the boy, in his heavy East-Texas accent, was quick to reply: “Well, the Bible says the wise men came from a-far.”
- From a toy store: "Ho, ho, ho spoken here."
- In a bridal boutique: "Marry Christmas."
- Outside a church: "The original Christmas Club."
- From a department store: "Big pre-Christmas sale. Come in and mangle with the crowd."
- In a Texas jewelry store: "Diamond tiaras: $70,000. Three for $200,000.
- A reducing salon: "24 Shaping Days until Christmas."
- In a stationery store: "For the man who has everything: A calendar to remind him when payments are due."
SOURCE: Jeff Strite Citation: Mikey’s Funnies@YouthSpecialties.com>
SUPPOSE IT HAD BEEN WISE WOMEN INSTEAD OF WISE MEN?
I read this humors account of the Wise Men (obviously written by a woman):
If it had been ‘Wise Women’ instead of ‘Wise Men’, they would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical g...
But have you ever stopped to think what would have happened if it had been the three Wise Women instead of three Wise Men?
1. They would have asked directions in Bethlehem rather than feeling that they needed to stop off at the Palace in Jerusalem,
2. They would have arrived on time,
3. They would have helped deliver the baby; they would have cleaned the stable and given practical gifts – like bringing a casserole and
4. There would be Peace on Earth.
I came across some definitions of things we use in the church. MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower. MANGER: 1. Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph didn’t have private health cover. 2. The Biblical proof that holiday travel has always been rough. BULLETIN: Church information, read only during the sermon. PEW: A medieval torture device still found in most churches. HYMN: A song of praise, usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation’s range. CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the congregation to lip-sync. AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.
WHO ARE THOSE MASKED MEN?
Some of you would have no idea of who I am talking about when I speak of the LONE RANGER. He is way before your time and he doesn't fit into our culture anymore. Pity. He had a strict moral code and even the actor, Clayton Moore, was a great ROLE MODEL for children.
Actually, the Lone Ranger was rarely alone. He hung around with his Indian sidekick Tonto). He rode a WHITE STALLION (I never liked the white stallion as much as Zorro's Tornado. I guess I liked the black look. I still wear black, but without the cape and mask. They seem to suit Antonio Banderas better).
Anyway, the Lone Ranger would be introduced each episode with the tune of the WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE (then Robin Hood got in on the act and used the same theme music). Towards the end of each episode, as the Lone Ranger galloped away towards the sunset, he would shout to his stallion "Hi-yo, Silver, away!" No-one ever asked what "HI-YO" meant or why he said it, but this was inevitably followed by someone asking "Who was that masked man, anyway?"
And that's the question I find myself asking when I get to Genesis 18. Abraham meets with 3 men with SECRET IDENTITIES. He doesn't even ask them who they are? All we know is that they are more powerful than either Zorro or the Lone Ranger and their theme tune would more appropriately be HANDEL'S MESSIAH.
Genesis 18:1-2 (NLT) mysteriously speaks of 3 men who visit Abraham. WHO ARE THESE MASKED MEN? (OK, so they are not wearing literal masks but they're real identities are masked from us. Who are they?) I know that One of them is the Lord Himself in human form from later on in the passage, but WHY THREE? The Lord and two angels? The Lord and two prophets? The Trinity in human form? Did the Lord need witnesses concerning the promises He was about to make with Abraham and then the judgment He inflicted on Sodom?
This is all a bit weird and Abraham starts to act even more weird, bowing down, washing their feet, feeding them and waiting on them like a servant before he even asks them who they are and what they are doing here. Even then he doesn't ask the questions I am dying to ask. He had to be interested, surely?
The visitors seem more interested in asking the questions and after Abraham waits on them like a servant and provides a barbeque lunch, they ignore him and ask about his wife, calling her by name (Genesis 18:9). How did they know Abraham's wife was Sarah? And why are they so interested in his wife anyway?
Then comes the bombshell!
In Genesis 18:10 one of them says, "I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!" Now this is a nice positive word to leave with a couple to encourage them when they have been trying to have a child, but it's a bit cruel to say to a couple who are BEYOND CHILD BEARING AGE and have always wanted children of their own. They don't know Abraham's wife. SHE IS 90 YEARS OLD! Abraham himself is certainly no spring chicken!
"Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. ... she laughed silently to herself..." (Genesis 18:12). I mentioned this story to some women in their 90's the other day (I work in an aged care facility) and THEY LAUGHED TOO!
In 2006 CBS News reported on a 62-year-old woman, Janise Wulf, who "gave birth to a healthy 6-pound, 9-ounce baby boy, becoming one of the oldest women in the world to successfully bear a child." CBS didn't mention Sarah.
In Genesis 18:14 the Lord says, "IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?"
The answer to that question is "NO." It is the most important question in the Bible in a way. It needed to be answered by Sarah as she took a step of faith in believing God. It's a more important question than "WHO WERE THOSE MASKED MEN, ANYWAY?" or "How did they hear Sarah laugh? Why did they eat a meal if they are angels?" and all the other questions I have about that passage. When it all comes down to it, the really important thing I need to decide about the Lord is whether He is TOTALLY ABLE to direct my life or not. When I get that right then I have acknowledged that Jesus Christ is Lord of my life.
Bob heard a rumor that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all walked on water on their 21st birthdays. So, on his 21st birth-day, Bob his good friend Brian headed out to the lake. "If they did it, I can too!" he insisted. When Bob and Brian arrived at the lake, they rented a boat and began paddling. When the got to the middle of the lake, Bob stepped off of the side of the boat... and nearly drowned. Furious and embarrassed, he and Brian headed for home.
When Bob arrived back at the family farm, he asked his grandmother for an explanation. "Grandma, why can I not walk on water like my father, and his father, and his father b...
WISE MEN CAME FROM AFAR
Most people know that Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, but they really do not understand as much as we think they do.
In a small Southern town there was a "Nativity Scene" that showed great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature bothered me. The 3 wise men were wearing firemen's helmets. Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left.
At a "Quick Stop" on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at me, "You Yankees never do read the Bible!" I assured her that I did, but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen in the Bible. She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled through some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage. Sticking it in my face she said "See, it says right here, 'The three wise man came from afar.'"
We all need to know the details of the Christmas story AND the theology behind it.
For about 14 years, I have been teaching AWANA. I teach each of our three division, beginning with a puppet skit and then a flannel graph lesson with felt figures. I taught the Christmas Story to the Sparks, K-2nd grade, then I moved everything into the auditorium to teach the Flames (grades 3-6); but when it came time to put Jesus into the manger, he was missing.
We searched for Jesus and could not find him. My wife Marylu finally suggested I look behind the scenery; there was baby Jesus on the back side of the door. So I had to go with the flow. This year, baby Jesus crawled away outside and the shepherds brought him back in! I can also say that my wife, Marylu, helped me to find Jesus!
Some Christmas seasons, it is easy to lose Jesus. We forget what the season is about. We forget that we owe our all to Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. We forget that the one born over 2,000 years ago was a sacrificial lamb.