There is a strong probability that Mary and Joseph were teenagers as they made their way to Bethlehem. Being very young they no doubt had very little money and very few possessions. Perhaps this explains why they stayed in Bethlehem for nearly two years after the birth of Jesus.
The initial visitors whom God called to witness the birth of His Son were lowly shepherds, who themselves had very few possessions and very little money. What they lacked in material wealth they made up for in compassion, adoration and the instinct to guard and protect bred into them through their profession.
Nearly two years after the birth of Jesus, the three wise men finally reached the area the star had been leading them toward since they left their native lands the night Christ was born. The Magi were wealthy and came bearing extremely expensive gifts for the King. Upon finding Jesus they presented Him with, among other things, GOLD.
Part of the reason God led the Magi to Jesus was to make provision for their upcoming journey to Egypt. Through their gifts, Joseph and his family had the means to immediately escape to Egypt ahead of Herod’s guards and stay there until God told Joseph to return to Nazareth. The precious and expensive gifts of the three Magi allowed the “holy family” to survive and live without want for years.
God certainly had the means to drop money from heaven to support Jesus and His family, but He chose to lean three unnamed but extremely benevolent wise men to share of their abundance to make provision for Joseph, Mary and Jesus.
Whether we need the love, support or strength of a shepherd or the wealth of a compassionate wise man, God is more than willing and able to provide what we need as He fulfills His promise to supply all our needs. Our job is to do as Joseph did and listen to God and obey His voice. If God says stay in Bethlehem for two years—stay there. If God says to quickly flee to Egypt—get going. If God says go back to Nazareth—go home.
That which we celebrate today is far more than a baby in a manger. Christmas is all about God providing for and taking care of His people through the birth of our Savior. Christmas is all about God fulfilling His Word to provide for those who fear and love Him. God is and will always be faithful to His Word. May we all take a few moments today to reflect upon God’s provision in our lives and how He continues to help and take care of us.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Blessings 2 You!!!!
I was thinking about this topic just last night. I mean, I knew about the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus but as my daughter-in-law read the account aloud last night, the gifts of the wise men jumped out at me. These were expensive and valuable gifts. As you say, God provided the means for the family to flee to Egypt and return.
While I don't believe as some suggestion, that the family lived extravagantly (Jesus gets referred to as the carpenter's son, not the rich man's son), God did provide for the family what they needed one way or another and I believe He does the same for us today.
We tend to look at ourselves as our own providers. We may say otherwise but when one loses their job and/or is unable to work due to illness or disability, you quickly discover just how much you looked to yourself as your own provider. Our provision comes from God... day by day by day, and we must never forget that.
Merry Christmas B2Y. God does faithfully provide for those who believe in and follow Jesus. Thanks for this simple writing of God's truth for us today and everyday of our lives.
Scripture says that in the counsel of many is wisdom. In all of my reading about the shepherds versus the Magi, I had not thought about why God sent the Magi to Joseph and Mary. God is a planner unlike we His creation. Your article brought to light a most probable provision by God for their travels just as He did when the children of Israel fled Egypt. Thank you. However, if our so-called celebration in December were truly about celebrating God's provisions, then people would not be going into debt so above their means to give gifts they cannot afford. And afterwards, people lose homes, cars, and their credit worthiness and more while trying to pay off their 'Christmas' debts. That is not of God. In writing an article about Christmas several years ago, my research showed that enough money is spent on gifts, etc. at Christmas to literally erase 'world poverty.'