The three wisemen just made me feel stupid

December 23, 2009 at 11:25 pm (Christmas)

Fisher Price Little People Nativity

I’m a visual learner. Back in my school days, I could remember a lot of things if I studied long enough.  But it would typically be just pure memorization & then ultimately I’d forget about it after I took the test.  Most of the things I remember for a period of time however, are visual.

Now I grew up in church & at church. If the doors were open, our family was there (and my Dad was always part of the lock-up crew … so we could open those doors whenever necessary!).  I was in at least 18 Church Christmas Plays and have probably seen another 18+ on top of that.  When I think about the traditional Christmas story, I think …

Baby Jesus.

In a manager.

Virgin Mary.

Father Joseph.

Riding a Donkey.

To a Barn.

The Shepards.

And the Three Wiseman brining their gifts.

*Sidenote, all of those things are much more significant than I just gave them credit … but I’m trying to get to the point of this post in a reasonable amount of time.

So fast forward many years all the way up until LAST NIGHT. I was reading The Jesus Storybook Bible* to Evan.  I was reading about the birth of Baby Jesus and it talked about the Wiseman traveling days which turned into several days, which turned into weeks, which turned into months, etc. etc.  before they met baby Jesus!!!  But he wasn’t a baby anymore … he was a CHILD. The Storybook Bible even had a picture of a little boy sitting in his mother’s lap as the Wiseman gave their gifts!!  And they didn’t come to the manger … they came to their house!

Now can I just be flat-out honest & say I HAD NO IDEA!!!! Or maybe I did learn this at one point but then forgot.  I believed the nativity scenes, the church plays I grew up with.  Sure, I’ve read the story many of many times throughout my 31 years of life but like I said in the beginning … I’m a visual learner.

I can honestly say I was floored when I read this.  Of course I had to re-read the story & then today I asked my sister about it & of course she knew that it wasn’t in the manger and he wasn’t a baby-baby anymore!!  She would know that.  So I’ve been doing my research today and I guess I’ve learned today that he was anywhere from about 41 days to 2 years.  I won’t go into detail about all that … again, it’s significant – yes.  It’s important – yes.  But that’s not the main point of this post.

The main point is … So, what else in the world have I missed!!!! And why does every Nativity Scene & every Church Play lump the Wiseman in with the manger?!?!

*And one more sidenote – this is a really great book!!  We haven’t had it that long but Evan is enjoying it a lot & obviously even his mother (aka ME) can learn something from it too!!



  1. staci said,

    The reason probably is b/c you would have to have 2 nativity sets and the church plays would be 3 years long. The logistics alone would be impossible.

    Hee hee!

  2. kathill2006 said,

    One that I learned in the last year or so is that Baby Moses didn’t float down the river like every movie/cartoon portrays. He stayed in the reeds with his sister watching from the side. That one is the one that floored me. Seriously! He didn’t move! Check it out. I read it in like five versions to make sure that was right.

    The wise men I knew about only because I was teaching preschoolers at Christmas shortly after I became a Christian and discovered it. I saw the light later in life.

    It’s amazing what we assume to be true because we see someone’s interpretation.

    As for the Christmas plays, I agree with Staci – they would be way too long if they portrayed it correctly.

    And, do you know that the Bible doesn’t say that there were three. It just says that there were wisemen. I looked that one up recently. We always portray three because there were three gifts. It definitely says plural, so there was more than one, but we don’t know how many.

  3. Rachel said,

    I have to laugh, because I had the same exact revelation with Mikayla this Christmas season. I had no idea either – I felt pretty stupid, because I too, have been very active in church since I was a young child. I think that’s the great thing about starting things simply again as you are trying to teach your children, because you sometimes learn things that you missed earlier.

  4. Kristen said,

    I always set my wisemen across the room from the nativity scene because it took them so long to get there!

  5. Christine said,

    I just found out about that book a couple of weeks ago and can’t wait to order it.

  6. ohamanda said,

    How funny, Mandi!

  7. Alicia Klehm said,

    Ok, so I didn’t know that either….and i REALLY should have known that!

  8. Happy new year! « it’s come to this … said,

    […] the last several years.  I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve re-learned a second “story” from the Jesus Storybook Bible that I’m reading with Evan.  I need to spend daily […]

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