FOR THE FIRST TIME in this new generation I get to see in my own family what baby Jesus may have been like when the wise men came from the East, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Jesus may have been two years old by the time the wise men got there. Here’s a clue. They told King Herod “when the star first appeared” (Matthew 2:7 NLT). It was apparently two years earlier, which is why Herod ordered the slaughter of all Bethlehem baby boys “two years old and under” (Matthew 2:16 NLT).
Herod died in 4 BC. So Jesus may have been born at least two years before that.
There’s one especially popular contender for the Star of Bethlehem that led the wise men to Herod. It’s an unusual alignment of stars in 7 BC, three years before Herod died. Here’s a link to a short video I did about that:
Spending time with a two-year-old
I don’t think we spend much time thinking about what Jesus may have been like when the wise men sat the boxes of gold, frankincense, and myrrh at his barefooted feet.
But I do. At least I do this Christmas.
I have a grandson turning two the end of this month. And I have a granddaughter turning two in another few months.
I know what a two-year-old does.
If I gave my grandson a box of frankincense, I would have to vacuum it up. And the house would smell like a forest for a week.
If I gave him a box of gold, I might have to take him to the emergency room for treating a foot injury.
If I gave him a box of ground-up myrrh, I’d be hitting the reset button on frankincense.
A two-year-old wants to eat a sucker with his oatmeal breakfast.
He likes to use markers to write on paper, his hands, and his clothes. If you take your eyes off of him while he is holding a marker, he’s going to take it to the wall. In which case I recommend washable markers and semi-gloss house paint.
He can say simple words like yes, no, uh-oh, ear, nose, and butt.
You have to watch him all of the time.
He is your focus at this moment. Your life is not your own. Your time, your energy, and your heart belong to him.
You cry when you can’t take away his pain.
You laugh when he laughs. And he laughs wildly for no reason at all.
This was toddler Jesus, the joy of life for his mom and dad.
For many of us, that toddler who grew up to live and die and live again remains the joy of life.
There’s wide-smiling joy in doing what he says we should do: treating others with the kind of love and compassion and respect that we would like others to show us.
A Merry Christmas gift from Steve
Just a reminder of what I said in Tuesday’s article “Luke is free till Christmas.”
I’m giving you the link to an 80-page leader’s guide and atlas of maps covering all 24 chapters of the Gospel of Luke. It’s about a 40 MB file you can download. It’s in a PDF format.
If you want to see what kind of high res maps you’re getting, around 30 of them, here’s the preview link; Atlas for Gospel of Luke.
For the PDF download of the leader’s guide with hundreds of questions and answers, along with the atlas, here’s the link:
The price is $0.
I’ll be feeling generous until Christmas.
After that, I want money.
If a dollar still qualifies.
Winner of free books
- Elizabeth Cruz
- Danny Jennings
I give away free books every week to randomly selected Stateside subscribers to my free blog or my quarterly newsletter.
Winners now get to choose from a stack of titles, including my most recent: A Visual Walk Through Genesis .
Note to the winner: send me an email and I’ll give you the full list of books from which you can choose.
The deal’s good for a month, or for as long as I have giveaway books available.