For the same reason Moses allowed men to divorce their wives–because of their weakness. Jesus told us this himself. Before Christ brought in the Age of Grace, in which the Holy Spirit was poured out on mankind through the sacrificial death of Christ, men lived according to their wants and lusts. The Law of Moses curbed some of that, but it was still impossible to live the kind of life of grace that God would have us live by just trying to keep the Law. St. Paul explains this quite fully in Galatians.
- Who were the Magi, or the Wise men who visited and adored Christ?
We don’t really know. There has been much speculation and there are traditions passed down by the cultures of the Middle East claiming they were members of this or that group of philosophers, astrologers (astrology was the astronomy of the times), but no one really knows. It’s fine to let it remain a mystery. It doesn’t really matter. What matters in Matthew’s account is that their visit was the catalyst for the Holy Family fleeing into Egypt and the slaughter of the Innocents.
- What was the Star of Bethlehem, an angel, astrology on the part of the Wise men, something else?
Once again, we don’t know. And again, there has been endless speculation from astronomical occurrences to an angel led them. And again, it doesn’t really matter. Matthew is telling us that this was the first sign that Christ came for all men, not just for Israel, and that he was to be prophet, priest and king, as indicated by the three gifts the Magi gave him.
Thanks in advance and God bless.
:tiphat: and God bless you and yours.