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|Taken from the December 2009 New Era Magazine|
One mention found in the Bible about them is in the book of Daniel. In Babylon, the king’s advisors were called such: “Then came in all the king’s wise men,…” (Daniel 5:8)
At the time of Jesus’ birth, the scriptures say: “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,” (Matthew 2:1)
Don’t you wonder about them? How many there were, or how much did they know, or what their motives were?
By the time they reached Jerusalem, Jesus had already been born, and his parents had found a place to stay (a house). The star had been shining since the night of His birth, which they saw. They started their journey right away. But how long did it take them to reach their destination?
Since they didn’t know where the babe resided, after they arrived at Jerusalem they started asking questions, which promptly brought king Herod’s attention on them.
“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 2:2)
What was their purpose? Up until their arrival, the only other witnesses of Christ’s birth had been the shepherds. But they were the simple and unlearned. The Wise Men were scholars who knew of the prophecies about the birth, and knew of Jesus’ part in the plan of happiness.
The shepherds were told by angels of the Divine birth. The Wise Men followed a star. Maybe they were supposed to see firsthand the coming to pass of the prophecies long foretold. What a privilege!
They also brought presents, and kingly presents they were:
Gold: the present reserved for kings. The Wise Men recognized Jesus as the Son of a King, even the King of Kings.
Frankincense: a perfume that was used at the time to worship deity. It’s saying that Jesus is the Son of God.
Myrrh: at the time, this perfume was used to prepare bodies for burial. The Wise Men knew of Jesus’ eternal sacrifice and brought myrrh to prepare Him for His time of sorrow.
Notice that Herod tried to ‘help’ the Wise Men by telling them where the King of the Jews was supposed to be born: Bethlehem, and sent them that way, asking in return to come back and tell him where the baby was, so he could go and worship himself. They were warned in a dream to do otherwise, and left by another way.
What an incredible experience! How many people can say that they saw the Son of God as a baby, knowing Who He was. Very few indeed. How many heavenly portents did happen around that time? We should be wise enough to recognize portents and follow the star that’s always showing the way back to our Savior, Jesus Christ the Son of God.
To view a copy of the Neighborhood News for Friday, 17 December, please click here.