Published on December 24, 2008 By KFC Kickin For Christ In Religion

Let's talk about the wise men shall we?

Most know the story of the (three) wise men who came to visit Baby Jesus in the stable. 

I think we need to talk.  Most people get their biblical information from Christmas cards instead of going to the source itself, the bible.  I  hope I can shed some light (pun intended) on many inaccurate impressions people have about these wise men and other facts about the nativity scene. 

Here's the verse:

"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."  Matt 2:1-2

So here we have the timing.  It's a historical account of the days of Herod the King.  How many wise men does it say?  Three?  Read it again. 

We don't know how many there were but I would dare say that most likely it was more than three.  We get this picture of three because they brought three gifts with them.  I would venture a guess this was like some sort of wise men convention.  They traveled quite a ways to investigate this star.  I'm thinking only three wise men wouldn't have caused a commotion enough to get Herod involved. A good bunch of them might have warrented Herod's attention.  Maybe there was three hundred?  Who knows? 

It says they came from the East so they could have come from different areas most likely in and around Babylon.  I find this interesting given the fact that 500 years earlier Daniel had been exiled to this very place.  Most likely these wise men had in their possession not only Daniel's prophetic writings but also the writings of the other prophets of which they studied diligently.  They also studied the heavens and most likely saw this star and wondered about it.  Maybe it drove them to study these same scriptures.  It's clear that was no usual star.  In fact, this was one supernatural star.  They all got together and made the long trek to Jerusalem.

What I find interesting is the fact that in the many references to the second coming (both OT and NT)  there will be signs in the heavens as well.  I believe we will see all sorts of astronomical signs just before he returns. 

So the next question has to be how did they associate this star with a King?  They searched the scriptures and found that a Star shall come out of Jacob (Israel) and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel.  So this star and sceptre go together.  Notice also this child is born a king.  Nobody is born a King.  Usually one is born a prince or born into a royal family but who is born a king? 

So Herod the King turned to the scribes and chief priests for answers.  Actually it says he demanded answers.  He was not a little threatened thinking there might be some competition to his royalty.  He knew he was a usurper not fit to be the King of Israel since he did not come from the royal Jewish line.  These scribes and priests knew exactly where to look.  In fact they didn't have to look, they answered immediately from memory as they quoted Micah 5:2 that a ruler would come out of Bethlehem.  I wonder if they were not just a little excited about all this.

Now these wise men made their trip most likely by camel.  This is no easy trip.  Some estimate this could have taken anywhere from 3 months to one year after the birth of the baby.  Some say even longer. 

So what about the stable?  We all have or have seen depictions of this nativity scene with the mother Mary and father Joseph and the three wise men bearing gifts.  But what does the bible say? 

"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 to him gifts; gold and frankincense and myrrh."  2:11

Notice they were in a house, not a stable.  Also notice they worshipped this young child and not Mary his mother.  If there were ever a time when Mary should have been bowed down to this would have been it.  They were wise men afterall.  Also notice he was called a young child, not an infant nor baby. 

Now notice the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  How many know that in the predictions of his second coming two of the three gifts are repeated?  In Isaiah we read this about the second coming....

"The multitude of camels shall cover you, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah, all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord."

Myrrh is omitted.  Why?  Because Myrrh is associated with death.  At his first coming they brought Myrrh and at his second coming there will be no need for he will not have come to die like he did this first time.   Interesting prophecy. 

The second time He comes,  this baby who was born King will come as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 


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