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Tradition vs. Truth

Traditions vs. Truth
Shepherds and Wise Men

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." Luke 2:8-12 (NKJV)

Every year Christmas comes and the marketing people do their best to capitalize.  Bright lights and decorations are well stocked on the store shelves before our Thanksgiving turkey has even been cooked.  Every year multiple variations of nativity scenes are sold as these are among the favorite decorations.  These sets will usually include the Three Wise Men standing by Joseph and Mary holding baby Jesus swaddled in a blanket in the setting of a manger.    

These nativity scenes have been selling for several generations and they reinforce the stories being told from one generation to the next.  And although Jesus was in fact born in a manger, the Bible teaches us the men who were actually present in what we know as the manger scene were in fact, not "three wise men."

Q:    So were there actually men there in the manger with Joseph and Mary, and if so, who were they?

Yes, there were men present with Joseph and Mary right after the birth of Jesus, but the Bible teaches us they were local shepherds who had been notified of Jesus' birth by angels.  It was actually these men who went out and spread the word about Jesus (See Luke 2:8-18).  

The wise men, or Magi as they were called came later, probably about the time Jesus was between 1 and 2 years of age (See Mt 2:11).  It is not known how many Magi came, but some biblical scholars believe they had come from thousands of miles away, and they represented the entire world bowing down before Jesus.

Q:    Why is it so important to know about the shepherds instead of going along with the story about the wise men being in the manger directly after the birth of our Savior?

A:  Because as Christians, we believe every word in the Bible is true.  It is the foundation in which we build our very lives.  

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

If we know what the Bible says and we keep these truths in our hearts and minds then we will be able to discern the true Voice of Truth versus the lies of the enemy.  When we learn and receive God's truth into our hearts and minds we are allowing the Spirit of God to work in our lives.  When we allow the lies of Satan to enter into our hearts and minds we are allowing him to work in our lives.  

Furthermore it is imperative for us to pass down these biblical truths accurately so our family and loved ones are not deceived by the enemy's distortions of God's truth.  It may seem insignificant to dispute whether it was the wise men or shepherds in the manger but if we begin to become apathetic in keeping the truthfulness of God's word then others may end up doubting what we claim to be true.  

I want to encourage you to take time to read your Bible each day.  Let's ask God to show us all He wants to reveal and let's make it our goal to apply and share what we have learned.

STUDY QUESTION: According to Luke 2:8-12 who was guided to find the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to read your Bible daily so you can detect the subtle lies of the enemy?

APPLICATION: Make it your goal to read and examine the Holy Scriptures so the enemy cannot deceive you about God's truth.  

Father, I thank You for Your truth as contained within Your Word.  Help me to remember the things I have read so I can discern when the enemy is attempting to attack Your truth.  Help me to keep from becoming apathetic to his lies.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000