After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”Matthew 2:1-2
If you have a nativity set in your home, you undoubtedly have three wise men bearing gifts for the Christ child in your arrangement. According to Scripture, we know that these Magi weren’t actually at the birth of Christ (they came to the house where He was, not the manger) and we don’t know if there were only three of them, but we generally think of three since three specific gifts are mentioned.
With that in mind, these are somewhat trivial issues regarding their trip and it’s important to note how they were able to see what others apparently missed. Outside of the shepherds, no one else appeared to notice the arrival of the Messiah. So, have you ever wondered how it is that this group of men noticed his star in the first place?
We don’t know all the details, but somehow the Magi were familiar with Balaam’s prophecy found in Numbers 24:17 –
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.”
So when the Magi noticed a new star in the evening sky, they did more than take note of the star:
- They acted. Matthew tells us that these men traveled from the east – maybe Persia or some other place where Jews would have been exiled hundreds of years before Christ’s birth.
- They sought out the Source of the star. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they asked questions to help them located the newborn King.
- They worshiped Him. The Magi spared no expense with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
It is a bit of a cliché, but I’ve heard it said many times that “wise men still seek Him.” Let’s not be like all those who lived in Jerusalem and Judea who missed the obvious. Let us find him in the details and seek Him today.