In Chapter Two of his Gospel Luke described how when the child Jesus was forty days old Joseph and Mary brought him to the temple where he was recognized by Simeon and Anna. Luke followed that by relating, “When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.”
If it happened that way it could not have happened the way Matthew described it. He told us that the Holy Family remained in Bethlehem for up to two years before they went down to Egypt, staying there for years, then going to settle in Nazareth for the first time.
This is a hard, but necessary, thing for people to grasp: the incidents related in Bible stories are often not factual. Though not factual, they are true in that they convey true concepts. When Matthew and Luke sat down to write their Gospels they settled on the stories going around that backed up the message they were writing their gospels to teach.
The story of the massacre of the babies in Bethlehem cannot be fitted into Luke’s Gospel; and, there is a good chance it never happened. The Jewish historian for those years, a man named Josephus, didn’t approve of Herod, and he wrote about all the heartless things King Herod did; but he makes no mention of such a massacre.
The story of the slaughtering of the Innocents is there to turn our attention and pity to such children as those who are victims to AIDs, Cholera, and starvation. That is what this feast is meant for. It should make us protectors of today’s innocent ones.
Post a Comment