Meilon leans over to the children, and whispers, ‘The scrolls are the
Bible before it was made into a book.’
The angel goes on. ‘They read what the prophet Micah had written, “Bethlehem Ephratah… out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel…” ’
The wise men thanked the king and stepped outside. Looking into the night sky, they were overjoyed to see the star shining brightly in the heavens. Mounting their camels, they prepared to follow it to Bethlehem.
‘They didn’t go back’, whispers Kevin to Betil.
The king sent his servant with a message for the men. ‘Herod said to tell him when you find the new king, so he can worship Him too.’
The wise men wave to the messenger in acknowledgment.
Another angel tells more of the story. ‘Our Father – God -- gave them a dream to go home another way and not through Jerusalem.’
The listening angels smile happily.
‘One night’, continues the angel, ‘I visited Joseph and told him to go quickly to Egypt as Herod would try to kill baby Yeshua. And then the most dreadful thing happened…’
The angel feels so bad he cannot go on.
Betil continues. ‘At the inn, they quietly knocked on the door and Joseph let them in. When they saw the baby, the shepherds knelt down and looked at Him in awe.’
‘Did Jesus know they came to see Him?’ asks Summer.
‘Oh no’, answers Meilon. ‘He was a newborn baby.’
Betil adds. ‘He knew before He went to earth, but now He is a baby.’
‘This is amazing’, responds Jeannette.
‘Yes it is’, agrees Meilon. ‘The Creator of the universe is now a baby and knows only what babies know.’
‘I can hardly imagine it’, says Summer.
‘It is the most amazing event in the universe’, states Betil.
The children are quiet for a moment, and then Summer says softly, ‘It is so wonderful that God’s Son was willing to become a baby to save us.’
‘Yes children’, says Betil. ‘It is called the incarnation, and it is a mystery.’
Kevin remembers Jesus calling Lucifer’s sin a mystery. ‘So there are two mysteries.’
‘Yes Kevin, these are the two greatest mysteries of the universe – the mystery of evil and the mystery of the incarnation.’
Meilon resumes the story. ‘When all the crowds had left Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph moved into a house. While there, they had some other visitors. Do you know who they would be?’
‘Yes’, answers Kevin, ‘the wise men.’
‘Right’, states Betil. ‘God will allow you to move ahead in time to learn about the visit of the wise men. They had come a very long way, taking many months, and of course the crowds had left Bethlehem.’
The Very Long Story
The children miss their visits with Jesus, but are happy Meilon and Betil are willing to meet them. When they arrive at the tree of life, the two angels are waiting.
‘Good morning’, greets Meilon. ‘I am sure you are anxious to hear what the angels had to say.’
‘And we are ready to tell you’, adds Betil.
‘Oh yes’, chorus the children together.
‘Let’s walk along the river and talk’, say the angels.
Meilon begins. ‘When the angels returned from earth, they were both sad and happy. They had been commissioned to tell Israel the good news of Messiah’s birth, but after searching Jerusalem, they found so few who wanted to hear. Most were not even thinking about His advent.’
Betil continues. ‘The angels wanted to sing for the whole nation, but they only found a few in the city. It was very disappointing.’
‘They found the shepherds’, says Kevin.
‘Yes’, responds Meilon. ‘Just a few shepherds on the Bethlehem hills, the same hills David tended his sheep.’
‘Oh, the David who killed Goliath?’ asks Kevin.
‘Yes, he’s the man.’
‘David was an ancestor of the Messiah’, says Betil.
Jeannette tells the angels that Jesus had taught them that when they were learning about the Seed of the woman.
Betil smiles and nods his head. ‘When the shepherds saw the angels, they were afraid.’
‘The wonderful part’, rejoices Meilon, ‘is that they believed the angel.’
‘‘Yes’, adds Betil, ‘and after organising their sheep, they hurried into the town to see the baby who was the promised Messiah.’
‘And they found Jesus’, says Kevin with enthusiasm.
Another continues, ‘Yes, Herod sent soldiers to kill every baby less than two years. It was horrible.’
He asks another angel to finish. ‘Yes, it was all very sad for the mothers, but the soldiers did not kill our Commander as He was on His way to Egypt. In this we can rejoice.’
Praises ascend to God.
In closing their testimony the angels rejoice, ‘Be encouraged. Angels are traveling with Joseph, Mary and baby Yeshua to protect the child while they are in Egypt. Lucifer is determined to kill God’s Son before the time, but we will not allow it.’
The angels sit down and the Father speaks.
‘Dear ones, you have done well. Thank you. Every angel assigned to protect My Son must follow My Word implicitly. Do not try to prevent Lucifer from doing His utmost to make it difficult for Him. Some of you will be assigned to protect Yeshua if the enemy tries to kill Him again.
But My beloved Son must be tested and tried. At times you will want to interfere. You must never do this. My Son has gone to earth to pay the penalty for the sins of the human race, so He will die. It is a substitutionary death – My Son will die instead of the human being who accepts Him as his substitute. His death will cover all humanity, but only those who accept it will receive the benefit of his sin-penalty being paid.
Dear ones, My Son’s death will be horrible. Not only will He feel the pain of the execution of the cross, but He will suffer untold agony of mind through bearing the sins of humans. It will break your hearts. You can only watch. Never do anything to try and help Him unless you are told to do so. During His most difficult time, I must withdraw my beams of light from My Son, and then I also can only watch. He must die alone.’
The angels are weeping as the Father speaks. The children’s eyes are also wet with tears.
The Father continues. ‘Lucifer does not understand the plan of redemption, but he knows it will be his death knell. He will try at every opportunity to have My Son killed before the time. He will also try every trick to get Him to sin. My Son must be a perfect sacrifice, therefore He can never sin. When you are directed to, you can speak words of encouragement to Him, but the decision is always to be His. If He sins, you cannot prevent it. He must decide for Himself. Remember that Lucifer and his rebellious angels will be whispering in His ear the whole time. They will try to discourage Him every moment of every day. Therefore it is important you be close to Him, so He will listen to the voice of My Spirit and be encouraged with hope for the final victory. My dear ones, do you understand?’
The angels in the grand hall all nod their heads. Then they bow to worship the supreme Ruler of the universe.
'Could they get a room at the inn?' asks Kevin.
Meilon stands up. 'Children we are going to the grand hall now.'
Walking back along the river of life with Meilon and Betil, the children tell them how glad they were able to attend the angel’s report.
Jeannette asks, ‘Does Jesus find out who He is when He gets older?’
‘Oh yes’, replies Betil. ‘As He grows He studies the sacred scrolls – the Bible to you – and learns all about the coming Messiah, but He doesn’t find out who it is until He is twelve.’
Meilon continues. ‘When He completes His twelfth year, Yeshua is taken to Jerusalem for the first time to celebrate Passover. All day He listens to the priests and watches the sacrifices. Little by little, the conviction forms in His mind that the sacrificial services have something to do with Him. By the end of the celebration He knows He is the Messiah and that His life will be sacrificed for the sins of the world. He bows in submission.’
‘Jesus told Adam and Eve He would die the sacrifice, so He knew’, says Kevin.
‘Oh yes’, replies Betil. ‘He planned it all with His Father in the heavenly councils. But as a human being He had to learn from the Bible like you do.’
Meilon adds to the thought. ‘He studied the scrolls every day to learn the Word of God really well. He knew that it was only the Word that would keep Him from sinning.’
Betil asks, ‘Did you know David wrote this in the Psalms?’
The children shake their heads. They know Bible people, but not many texts.
‘It says, “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”. So knowing the Bible will help you not to sin too.’
Then Betil says, ‘Children, young Yeshua grows up to be a strong young man. He loves God and spends as much time as possible walking among the trees with His Father in Spirit. He also studies the scrolls to make certain He knows them well.’
‘And you will see later’, says Meilon, ‘how important it was for Him to know the holy Scriptures.’
‘Yes’, adds Betil, ‘it was a life and death issue.’
‘Could it be a life and death issue for me too’, asks Summer.
‘It could be’, answers Meilon.
‘Yes’, says Betil. ‘You never know when you will need to quote the Bible that will save you from sin.’
‘Well children’, announces Meilon, ‘I think it is time for you to go. Tomorrow Yeshua will be anointed to begin His ministry as the Messiah.’
‘By John’, states Kevin.
‘No sonny, not by John.’
Report of the Angels
"The angels who guided the wise men are going to give their report.'
'Oh goody', says Jeannette.
When every angel is seated, the Father enters the room concealed by the bright light that surrounds Him. The angels who guided the wise men are asked to step forward.
‘Thank you Father’, says one of the angels, then turning to those seated, he gives his experience. ‘Our task was to group together in the sky to look like a star and guide the wise men. These heathen men were excited to see the star and believed it to be an omen of the birth of Israel’s king.’
‘Yes’, states another angel. ‘They travelled slowly on camels and camped at night under the stars. It was wonderful to hear their conversation. They wanted to find the holy child and worship Him.’
Another angel continues. ‘When the wise men arrived at Jerusalem, they expected the Jews to be excited, but no one seemed to know about it. Finally the men were directed to King Herod, but he had no idea either.’
‘Worse’, says another angel, ‘he was angry.’
‘Yes’, continues the first angel. ‘He was jealous because the wise men had asked where the king of the Jews would be born. He did not want a rival.’
Each angel has opportunity to share part of the story.
‘Herod pretended to be happy and called the priests to look at the holy scrolls….’