The Story of the Other Wise Man


Story of the Other Wise Man The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke

 2 of 5 stars

In this Biblical-era short story, a fourth wise man sets out towards Bethlehem to bestowing his gifts upon the Christ Child, but instead ends up spending his life trying to find Him and spending His gifts to help the needs of others.

Should he risk the great reward of his divine faith for the sake of a single deed of human love?  Should he turn aside, if only for a moment, from the following of the star, to give a cup of cold water to a poor, perishing Hebrew?

This was an interesting short story that really focuses on Christ’s teaching that “anything you do to the least of these brothers, that you do unto me.”  The sentiment is very nice, but the part about Christ’s death lacked the confidence of Easter, and thus ended up turning the story into a rather work-righteous parable; the message seems to be that even if you don’t find Jesus, it’s okay as long as you do good things to others (or perhaps that’s just my interpretation in view of today’s humanistic society?)  The language was also rather difficult, with one passage in particular including a single sentence whose words numbered over two hundred — yes, two hundred words in a single sentence — yikes!

Overall: A short parable about doing good to others


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