We are far enough on the backside of Christmas now that I can share some facts about the first Christmas and not ruin the holiday for you. You ask, how could that be? Some of what we have come to accept as “fact” about the first Christmas has actually been gleaned from tradition, paintings, and movies. What? I know, it’s almost too much to bear but don’t worry, there isn’t any heresy in this…just some good fun.
Let’s start with the Magi, or Wise Men. We’ve gotten a lot wrong about them.
How old was Mary when Jesus was born? We really don’t know but she was probably between 14-16 years old because that was the typical age that girls were given away in marriage in that culture. Joseph was probably 16-20 years old.
How did Mary and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census? The traditional story has her riding a donkey. Really? Those of you who have been pregnant, imagine doing that for 90 miles. I see more than a few heads nodding in agreement. No, because of the danger of traveling in that region, they likely traveled with many others in a type of caravan and she probably rode most of the way in a cart or wagon. Everyone was going to their hometown for the census and it would have been the smart thing to do.
The purpose of the gifts given by the Magi was because Jesus was a king. True and false. All three gifts were expensive and worthy of a king. However, there were two other likely reasons for these three specific gifts:
I hope this didn’t ruin your image of the first Christmas, Instead, I hope that it gave you a better picture of why Jesus came in the first place. Blessings.