Were the wise men sent to cause the death of Jesus? By Cheryl Schatz MM Outreach
The celebration of the birth of Christ, or Jesus' first coming has long been an occasion of rejoicing for historic Christianity. The Watchtower, although originally joining in with the Christmas celebrations, has in recent years refused to participate in honoring Christ's birth. To try to support their ban on the celebration, the Society has attacked all of the Christian elements of Christmas. Included in the criticism is a charge that the wise men were not led to the child Jesus by God himself, but were instead dupes of Satan who eventually caused the deaths of many baby boys in Israel. We believe that it is only fitting for Christians to answer the Watchtower's charge. To do so, we appeal to God's inspired word the Bible.
Who were divinely directed?
When Jesus was born almost two thousand years ago, a group of shepherds were privileged to be the first to receive divine direction on the birth day of Christ. In Luke 2:9-12, the Bible relates that the shepherds received an announcement from heaven itself. The good news that the Christ child had been born that very day was to be a source of great joy to the people. The shepherds were obedient to the divine direction and got up immediately to go find the child. After finding the baby Jesus, they returned giving praises to Jehovah and preached the good news widely about this special birth.
Who provided Jehovah's financial assistance during the time of the fulfillment of prophecy?
About two years later another group of people received divine direction about the young child Jesus. Jehovah provided direction for them to supply financially for His son during a very dangerous time. Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, Jehovah prophesied through Jeremiah that there would be a slaughter of Jewish children. Jehovah already knew that He would have to send His Son into Egypt for safety as Hosea prophesied in Hosea 11:1 "Out of Egypt I called my Son." To provide for the trip and the stay in Egypt Jehovah divinely directed a group of men of financial means to the land of Israel. When the wise men lost sight of the star that had led them, they searched for help to find the one who was born king. Herod, pretending to be helping the wise men, secretly was planning to destroy God's chosen king. But the wise men having received instruction on the birth place of the Messiah from the chief priest's rejoiced with great joy when they saw the star once again and it led them directly to the Messiah. They presented the young child with very costly gifts and then after receiving divine direction from Jehovah in a dream not to return to Herod, they were obedient to Jehovah and returned home another way.
Through these obedient wise men, the family of Jesus had the necessary financial provisions for their flight into Egypt and their extended stay in that land that had been prophesied hundreds of years before by Jehovah God Himself. The wise men were not the cause of the deaths of many Jewish baby boys, Herod was. The wise men were the divinely directed provision for Jesus' trip into Egypt. If you are a Jehovah's Witness, we ask you, don't you think that if Jehovah had not wanted the wise men to find Jesus He would have hidden Jesus from the wise men in the same way that He hid Jesus from Herod?
Did the first coming of Jesus Christ come as a baby or as a man?
While the Watchtower has rejected the divine direction that Jehovah used to provide for his Son, they have chosen instead to portray the wise men as emissaries of Satan and the star that guided them to Jehovah's Son as Satan's star. The Watchtower has continued to downplay the importance of the birth of Christ, instead teaching that Jesus was not born the Christ, and did not become the Christ at all until his baptism at about 30 years of age. In contrast the Bible reveals the truth, "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11. The Watchtower's rejection of Christmas is a direct result of their denial that Jesus was born the Christ.