The Bible does NOT say that three wise men came to see Jesus lying in a manger. Matthew 2:1 refers to 'magoi from the east.' It doesn't say how many of them there were. The septuagint - a very early Greek version of the old testament - uses the wordmagoi in Daniel 1:20 to describe magic-practicing and astrology-practicing priests of pagan gods in Babylon. Since the Bible condemns both these practices, it is unlikely that the 'three wise men' came with God's blessing, 'following a star.'
They didn't follow a star from the east to Jesus in a manger. The account says they saw his star when they were still in the east. "His star" means, again, practicing astrology. And the direction the 'star' led them was, not to Jesus, but to King Herod. When Herod heard about the birth of someone he viewed as a rival for his throne, he resorted to murdering several infants. Since a star would not normally move, this moving star they followed had to be miraculous. But both God and Satan can cause miracles. The appearance of the star resulted in infanticide. Who seems more likely to have sent the star, God or Satan?
'The star' led the eastern magoi, not to a manger but to a house. Matthew 2:11 reads, "They entered the house and saw the child with his mother." That considerable time had passed between Jesus' birth and the arrival of the magoi is confirmed not only by this, but by two other details. Luke 2:22-24 relates that, following Jewish law, Mary and Joseph went to the temple 40 days after Jesus' birth and made an offering. A lamb was stipulated for the birth of a boy, but if the parents were poor, they were allowed to offer two birds. If they had already been given gold, frankincense and myrrh they would offered a lamb, not the two birds as they did. However, the gifts came in handy when, following a warning from God that Herod was going to try to murder Jesus, they needed money to flee the country and live for some months in Egypt.
The other detail is in Matthew 2:16, where Herod "gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi."
What does all this mean? Just as Satan convinced those magoi to follow practices that God condemns (Isaiah 47:13; Deuteronomy 18:10), so he convinces people now to:
turn his practicers of the pagan art of astrology into 'wise men;'
put an (astrological) star atop their tree;
put a tree sacred to the false god Wotan in their living room;
to idolize a red-suited 'saint' Nicholas, whose most famous act was to physically attack a Christian who was trying to tell the truth about God and Jesus;
to memorialize Jesus' birth on a date sacred to the worship of the sun, instead of following Jesus' own command to memorial his death.
It's unlikely my words here are going to change anyone's thinking, especially a week before Christmas. But maybe you can send this to someone open-minded enough to consider it, after the holiday is over.
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