MisreadBible

MisreadBible

For I read the Bible through a lens, squinting - 1 Corinthians 13:12

Wise Guys, Eh? [draft]

Matthew 2

Some time after the birth of Jesus, a group of twenty magi came to Jerusalem from the east. Apparently, they’d been stargazing one night and spotted a new star, and, being the wise men that they were, decided to try to get to whatever was underneath it. When it came to rest over Judea, they assumed it meant a king had been born there.

2 So, the magi went around Jerusalem asking people where the newborn king of the Jews was, and the people kept on telling them that Herod was the king and he wasn’t a baby.

3 When King Herod heard the rumours circulating about some foreign weirdos asking about a newborn king, he became scared that the baby might try to overthrow him, after all Jerusalem was constantly being terrorised by kung fu babies.

4 So, Herod called together all of the chief priests, and he said, ‘There are some magi going around looking for a newborn king. Do you think he could be the messiah?’

‘Why do you assume that?’ asked the priests. ‘They said they were looking for a king not the messiah.’

‘Well, they followed a star!’ retorted the king.

‘But there’s nothing in messianic prophecy about following a star.’

‘Hmm, it still seems like too much of a coincidence to me… Where’s the messiah supposed to be born?’

‘There’s nothing in any of the prophecies about where the messiah will be born,’ replied the priests.

Herod became angry, and he yelled ‘You’re just keeping the information from me, because you don’t want me to find him!’

The priests began to mutter amongst themselves. One said, ‘What about that passage in Micah 5?’

‘That’s not about the messiah!’ chastised another.

‘I know, but we have to tell him something!’

‘It’s not even about where he’ll be born, it’s about which tribe he’ll be from!’

‘He’s not going to know the difference! Just misquote it, and it’ll shut him up.’

5 So, one of the priests stepped forwards and declared:

6\tab‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

\tab Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;

\tab For out of you shall come a Ruler

\tab Who will shepherd My people Israel.’

‘Bethlehem, you say?’ replied Herod. ‘Bring the magi here.’

7 So, they sent for the magi, and Herod told them, ‘The child you seek is in Bethlehem. 8 Please can you find him so that I can kill… I mean worship him too.’

9 And the magi set out to Bethlehem. As they travelled, they saw that the star was travelling ahead of them.

10 ‘Hey, look!’ cried Balthazar, one of the magi. ‘The star is going the same way we are!’

‘This proves that we’re going the right way!’ crowed another whose name was Caspar.

11 Eventually, the star came to rest on a house in Bethlehem where Mary and Joseph had decided to live instead of returning to Nazareth. Melchior, who was at the front of the group, knocked on the door.

Mary answered and said, ‘Hi. Who are you?’

‘We’re the magi!’ they replied in chorus.

‘Um, okay?’

‘We brought gifts for the baby,’ said Caspar.

Joseph pushed Mary out of the way, and exclaimed, ‘Well, why didn’t you say so?’

‘But we can’t accept gifts from strangers!’ squealed Mary from the floor. ‘Besides, we can’t fit them all in the house!’

Joseph turned to her and said, ‘Just bring the baby out, and we’ll get the gifts and send them away.’

So, Mary brought out baby Jesus, and the magi queued up to see him and hand over their gifts. At the back of the line, there was a little boy with a drum.

‘Is that for my son?’ asked Joseph, eyeing the instrument.

‘No, sir,’ replied the boy. ‘I have no gift to bring, I just wanted to see the baby.’

‘No gift!’ growled Joseph. ‘Then piss off!’

The boy ran away crying.

Joseph called after him, ‘And if you think you’re making it into the nativity story, you’ve got another think coming!’

When everyone had left, Joseph tore into the presents. ‘Look what we got!’

‘What?’ asked Mary.

‘Gold, frankincense, and myrrh!’

‘Those are terrible gifts for a baby!’ spat Mary. ‘I could have done with some baby clothes, or blankets.’

‘Sod the baby!’ smirked Joseph. ‘I’m hitting the casino!’

12 Meanwhile, the magi had been told in a dream that Herod intended to kill the baby, so they returned home avoiding Jerusalem.

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