“We three kings of orient are; bearing gifts we travel afar…” So says the popular Christmas carol, “We Three Kings.” Tradition even names these “kings”; Caspar, Balthasar, and Melchior. We’re even told they are from three different countries; Babylon, Persia and India. Did they ride camels? Did they come from different countries? Let’s see.
Matthew 2:1-12 (click to read) records the account of the visit of the Magi. First of all, no where are they called kings. Rather they are Magi. Most likely they are associated with the Magi of the Book of Daniel. Having been influenced by Daniel’s prophecy they likely had been watching for this event for centuries.
Second of all, we have no idea of how many Magi came. We know they brought three gifts. But, the number of the people who came in this caravan is indeterminable. Could this entourage of people numbered into the hundreds? Certainly! It is possible it was large, loud and learned.
Third of all, they saw a star in the sky. This star reminded them of a passage the old sage Daniel told them about five centuries earlier. Numbers 24:17 points to a star that would appear at the coming of Messiah. Daniel predicted a certain amount of time to pass before the coming of the “Anointed One.” These learned scholars were not only watching the sky, but they were also watching the calendar. Now they knew the time had come to travel to the place Messiah was born.
Without a GPS or map, they simply traveled to the best possible place a king would be born. The capitol city of Jerusalem seemed like the only viable city for this to occur. So, they came to that town and excitedly asked “Where is He who is born King of the Jews?” Being told it was about 5 miles south in the little town of Bethlehem they went. The came, they saw, they worshipped and they left.
Saturday and Sunday our children will present a wonderful presentation of the musical, “Wise Guys and Starry Skies.” Both performances will be at 6:00 pm. Plan to attend at least one presentation. And, ask yourself how wise you are this Christmas season. Are YOU looking for Christ or not. The Wise Guys looked for Him! Wise men today still look for Him.