Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him’” (Matthew 2:1-2).
Lessons From The Wise Men
Matthew is the only writer to record the visit of the wise men. These magi were from a country to the east of Jerusalem that is unidentified. Without a country of origin, we know nothing of their nationality and background. The purpose of the visit was to worship the one who was born King of the Jews. Arriving in Jerusalem, they sought help in finding the new King. Herod heard they were looking for the young sovereign and gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people and inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They knew from Micah 5:2 that the Ruler would come out of Bethlehem, in the land of Judah. Herod passed this information to the wise men and instructed them to let him know where the young Child was so that he too could worship Him. The wise men told of seeing His star while in the east and found this same star now directing them to Bethlehem and where Jesus would be found. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. Upon their arrival, they opened their treasures and presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Herod did not intend to worship Jesus but to kill him. Being warned by God, the wise men returned to their country another way.
Here are some things we learn from what God tells us. Please note that all we know about the visit from the wise men is what God tells us – neither man nor the Roman Catholic Church can change these facts without changing the word of God. The Bible does not reveal the number of wise men, we are not told their names or their nationalities. We do know they came from the east and traveled a great distance. They were looking for the one who had been born King of the Jews. They wanted to worship Him. They saw his star in the east and came to Israel to look from him. This same star helped them find Bethlehem and then the star stood over where the young Child was.
The star the wise men saw did not shine upon a baby in a manger. Matthew records in very plain language the wise men were looking for a young child and they found the young Child Jesus in a house. The Greek word used in this text indicates an “abode” or “residence.” A manger is neither an abode nor a residence and while the shepherds found a baby in a manger, the wise men did not see Jesus in a manger. What they saw was a young child, about the age of two years. The star they saw in the east was when Jesus was born and it would take some time to travel to Israel. When Herod heard he had been deceived by the wise men, he sent his army into Bethlehem and put to death all the male children from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Jesus was not a baby when the wise men came but a young child. The lesson in this story is that God tells it the way it happened and man creates a fairy tale. Do you follow a fairy tale, a myth, and a false version of truth? If it matters not how the story of the wise men is told, what else in God’s word can be corrupted? It makes a difference what we believe.