Each of my displayed nativities include the Three Wise Men. However, according to the Bible (King James Version) the Kings did not visit the Holy Babe until months later. My curiosity led me to researching and studying Matthew and Luke in the Bible in addition to internet searches.
Why am I so intrigued with the wise men? The wise men were fulfilled with sincere faith in a star that led them a great distance to the newborn King. These men displayed true wisdom in their travels.
I’ve often wondered how the wise men recognized THE star as being a sign that directed them to the King of the Jews. How was their faith never lost over the many months of searching for this Babe?
To understand the significance of the Wise Men, I had to understand their character.
Disclaimer: The following is what I learned from research and studying my Bible. Please correct or add any information to what I have written. I am a Christian and believe in the Word, but an anniversary gift sparked this interest and I cannot stop thinking about their devotion and faith upon one star. My focus is on the wise men and therefore omitting several verses from this post that are unrelated to the topic.
“…there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem” (Matthew 2:1) and were of the higher caste system [knowledge gained from previous social science classes]. Several searches indicated they studied the stars and noted this unique star. By following their calculations, the star led them to Jerusalem, the royal capital of Israel.
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
I am skipping verses 3-8. These verses depict Herod the king counseling with the “chief priests and scribes” (v, 4) questioning the birth of a new king. Verses 5 and 6 foretells that Bethlehem of Judea being the birthplace as referenced in The Old Testament (Micah 5:2 and Isaiah 9:6). After learning these things, Herod spoke with the wise men to encourage them to return giving news of this newborn.
The wise men continued with their quest.
…the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was (v, 9).
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him… (v, 11).Matthew 2
The setting has moved from a manger (Luke 2:7) to a house (Matthew 2:11). This indicates that Joseph and Mary left the stable and are now residing in a home.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.Matthew 2: 12
The Bible gives little information, yet the wise men contributed to the birth story. I am astounded by their perseverance in seeking the King of the Jews. The wise men traveled over a vast span of land guided only by a star. They were not discouraged by the distance or having to travel even further to meet the Babe. They did not question their purpose. The only noted question I could find was “… where is he…” (Matthew 2:20) from the wise men.
These men were WISE in their commitment: guided by faith in the unknown, exhibiting patience and tolerance with the long distance, articulating appropriately with encounters, and having wisdom in returning home in a different direction.
The acknowledgment of the wise men’s specific attributes was attained from my study. Even though I am one person in this BIG world, I want to carry the same qualities as the wise men: faith, patience, tolerance, positive dialogue, and wisdom.
Little is known about the wise men except they made a significant contribution in one of the most beloved and highly worshiped events of the Christian faith. Chapters 2 of Matthew and Luke provide specific yet small details of their role in greeting the newborn/child. Even though the backgrounds are not written in the Bible, I inferred about the wise men’s character. Character that I strive for in my daily walk with God. How did I come to these conclusions of the wise men? I sought God’s word for answers.
May you be filled with faith, patience, tolerance, articulation, and wisdom for your travels in 2022. These traits are not always easily expressed in daily circumstances, but we have a loving and forgiving God who directs our paths.
Happy New Year and may you find joy in the life that you have been blessed- Jan