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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

We Three Kings

Did you know that that three kings did not visit Jesus at his birth and bring him gifts? It is simply a tradition of man that has somehow made its way into Christmas nativity scenes. The Bible never mentions how many wise men there were and it never says that they are kings. They did not visit Jesus while he was in the stable, but when they were living in a house after he was at least 18 months old.

There are other traditions that have become significant in Christianity and I am questioning whether or not they are honoring God. Christmas in general is always something that I deal with. Sunday worship is another.

I know, Paul says in Romans 14:5-6, "One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God."

I question whether or not that passage can even be used in context of Saturday vs. Sunday rest or with celebrating Christmas. But even so, why do we often use Pauls writings to justify something we do that Jesus did not authorize?

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19 "Do no think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

He also says in Matthew 7:22-23 "On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name... and do many mighty works in your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlesness."

Matthew 13:41 "The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law breakers and throw them into the fiery furnace..."

Matthew 15:6 "So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God..."

I would say those are some mighty condemning statements. I'm not trying to be legalistic here. I am simply searching for the truth. It's getting harder and harder for me to write-off the statements of Jesus as if he only meant them for the three years he went about preaching.

Stay tuned for more as I re-read through all the gospels without a filter, and without Paul.

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