It wasn’t until later in life that I learned all the misnomers about the Wise Men. I was a bit crushed when I found out that they didn’t visit the stable but probably came later. I didn’t believe it. How could that be? I mean, every manger scene that I had ever seen included the Magi—three to be exact!
Perhaps the most important truth I have ever learned is this:
When a fact or source differs from the Bible, believe the Bible!
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11
Well, that’s pretty clear! But why did God include them in the amazing true story of His Son’s birth and early life? Have you ever thought about how startling it must have been to have these foreign dignitaries ride through the obscure little town of Bethlehem, park their camels in front of Mary and Joseph’s house, and go inside? Interesting that Matthew does not mention Joseph. He was probably working at the time. Perhaps an errand boy was sent to fetch Joseph.
A crowd is now gathered outside his door as he enters. There is Mary, holding Jesus while three men (maybe more) kneel before their son, God’s Son, and worship Him! Amazing! The wonder and awe that surrounded this baby’s birth continue with their visit.
But why Wise Men from the East? We live in a time when eastern religions are becoming more and more popular. Their philosophies are attractive to the learned thinkers of our day because they are deep and appeal to the mind.
The Wise Men were thinkers. They were educated beyond the common man. It’s probable that they had studied Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato and other great philosophers of their time. ( Fascinating, that those three great philosophers were all born in or near the silent years between the Old and New Testaments. God was “silent” and men spoke their wisdom!)
Every aspect of the Christmas account holds a message.
- The shepherds—God’s Son came to the lowliest of mankind.
- Bethlehem—an insignificant village and tribe, yet the only place where Messiah could be born because Micah prophesied His birth location hundreds of years earlier (Micah 5:2).
- And the Wise Men?
The coming of the Wise Men proclaims that all religions do not lead to God. These men knew the religions of the world and yet they made an amazing journey to worship the Christ child. They had researched the ancient writings and presented Him with gold: proclaiming Jesus to be the King of kings, frankincense: declaring Him to be the High Priest who alone could atone for our sin, and myrrh: signifying His astonishing sacrifice of death.
So, the statement “Wise men still seek Him” has a resounding ring of truth. The first Wise Men had all the wisdom of the ages and yet what set them apart from all the other magi and sent them on their incredible journey? It was the condition of their hearts. They yearned to see “God in flesh” and put everything aside to do so.
This Christmas, will you look for Him as well? Emmanuel—God with us! Oh, may that truth never get old!
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23