The Characters of Christmas

The Magi are well known and loved by all. They traveled from afar at great sacrifice to bring gifts to baby Jesus. They have much to teach us. However, what about the women of the Christmas story? There are three wise women who have a lot to teach us about the Christmas spirit.

three wise women


The Three Wise Women of Christmas

It’s an old joke – Question: What would have happened if it had been three Wise Women instead of three Wise Men? Answer: They would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought more practical gifts.


I know. I know. Corny and a bit sexist. Actually, the gifts that the Magi delivered were quite practical in that day and time. They probably funded the family’s escape to Egypt, and therefore, saved his life. Hard to imagine a casserole doing that.


The question is still a good one. What if we looked at the three women who are a part of the Christmas story and the wisdom they bring to the narrative? What do they teach us?


Elizabeth: Encourager

In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! (Luke 1:42).


Elizabeth teaches us the importance of listening to God on behalf of others and then affirming the in God’s plan for their lives.


We talk a lot about hearing God’s plan for our own lives, but what about hearing God on behalf of others? It’s an age-old tradition in Scripture. For most of the great people of faith there was a friend or relative who encouraged them and affirmed God’s call on their lives. 


For Moses, there was Aaron; for David, there was Samuel, for Shadrach, there was Meshach and Abednego (and vice-versa). For Mary, there was Elizabeth.


Elizabeth pronounced Mary blessed by God – and that she was – but, Mary also felt blessed by her cousin, Elizabeth.


Elizabeth teaches us to watch for the ways God is working in the lives of other people and then say something to encourage and affirm them.


Anna: Evangelist

Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).


Anna was married for seven years when her husband died. She was then a widow until she was eighty-four years old. If she married about the typical age of sixteen, she would have been a widow for more than sixty years. This was highly unusual. She filled her time by devoting herself to worshipping, fasting, and praying at the temple (Luke 2:37).


When she saw baby Jesus in the temple on his dedication day she was filled with joy. She knew that God was fulfilling his promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:2).


She blessed the baby by telling everyone about him.


Anna teaches us that the biggest way you bless Jesus is by sharing His saving love with everyone you meet.


Mary: Vessel of God

“’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her” (Luke 1:38).


Mary was chosen by God to give birth to Jesus, the Savior of the world. She did nothing to deserve this. She was a poor, peasant girl, from a tiny village that wasn’t even on the map. She had zero qualifications. She had zero power. She had zero influence. Her only distinction was that she was chosen … and obedient.


Mary teaches us that we all have the potential to be God’s vessels for good if we understand that God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called.


God has chosen you for something. Whatever that is, embrace it – submit to it – and be ever thankful that God would use one such as you!







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