‘Tis the season for Christmas decorations and what Christian home would be complete without a nativity scene featuring our new-born Savior?
Of course, we can just overlook the historical inaccuracies. For instance, while it is true that Jesus was wrapped up and lying in a manger when the shepherds went to see him (Luke 2:16), it is not true that he was still in the manger when the wise men showed up. By this time, Jesus had been moved into the house (Matthew 2:11). Some scholars speculate that Jesus may have been as much as two years old when the wise men visited. This is based upon Herod’s command to kill all male children under two years of age (Matthew 2:16).
Speaking of wise men, your nativity features three. The Bible does not tell us how many there were. It simply tells us that they presented three kinds of gifts to Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. There could have been two men. There could have been far more than two or three. We just do not know.
Also, concerning those wise men, the Bible never calls them “kings” as they are often depicted. You may have heard the song “We Three Kings”, but in Scripture, they are simply “magi”. The word means they were astrologers, not kings.
Your nativity probably abounds with different animals standing, sitting, and lying around. The Bible does not mention any animals being present. I guess since the birth takes place in a stable with a manger, it is assumed that there were animals present, but this is not necessarily the case.
A last, very important thing to note about our nativities is the baby Jesus. Yours is probably very white. Jesus was an Israelite. He was Jewish. He was not an American caucasian. His skin color was likely dark.
I hope you enjoy your Christmas holiday and your nativity. Does anyone have one that is more accurate than the one I described?
Oh, if your nativity features a little drummer boy all I can say is, “Really?”