12 Days of Christmas

Day 9 - The Fourth Wise Man

When the three wise men set out on their journey to find Jesus legend has it that there was actually a fourth wise man who set out to follow the star with them. This man named Artaban carried three gifts with him that he was going to give to baby Jesus; a sapphire, a ruby and a pearl.

On the road to meet the caravan which would take the wise men on their journey Artaban stopped along the way to help a dying man. This meant that he missed the caravan and because he couldn't travel across the desert by horse alone he had to sell one of his treasures to buy camels and the supplies necessary to make the trip himself.

Herod realised that the wise men had outwitted him when they didn't return to him and ordered that all the boys under the age of 2 in the Bethlehem area be slaughtered. By the time Artaban arrived at Bethlehem therefore he was too late as baby Jesus and his family had fled to Egypt. He did however save the life of another child sure to be killed in this slaughter but this cost him another of his treasures.

For many years Artaban travelled from country to country in search of Jesus while stopping and helping others along the way. He finally arrived in Jerusalem 33 years later in time for the crucifixion of Jesus and spent his very last treasure to prevent a lady being sold into slavery.

He was then hit with a tile that fell from a rooftop and is preparing to die having never found Jesus but after carrying out so many charitable acts during his life. It was then that a voice said to him "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." At this he died but he did so peacefully knowing he had found Jesus in every person he had helped during his life.

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