Eyewitness to Christmas: Wise Men Follow a Star

 Last time, we took a look at who the wise men were.

Matthew does not tell us how many wise men there were or their names. However, Armenian tradition identifies the “Magi of Bethlehem” as Balthasar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar {Caspar} of India. The Western Christian Church has accepted this tradition and regards these three men as saints.

The Wise Men were from the East

The wise men have arrived in town and began to ask around.  We are not told where exactly they are, but we known King Herod was the rule of Judea and Syria. Given Jerusalem was a capital city, this seems logical that they would have gone there.

“Yet even supernatural guidance like the star can take the astrologers only so far; for more specific direction they must ask the leaders in Jerusalem where the king is to be born.”  {The IVP New Testament Commentary Series}

We believe there are three magi because of the three gifts,
but there may have been more

Regardless, they reach their destination and begin to ask around.  Notice they do not ask “if” this child has been born but “where they can find him”. They arrived full of hope and without doubt.

They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews?” {Matthew 2:2}

They wise men tell us they have come to pay homage or honor or worship.

While we think they may have come to worship an adult, they make it clear. They are here to worship a newborn or child just born.  Then they are the first to refer to him as the King of the Jews.

The Wise Men came upon the star

If we think about Jesus when he is crucified, we will remember he is referred to as the “King of the Jews”.  Actually a sign is put above his head stating such. {  Matthew 27:11Mark 15:2Luke 23:3 and John 18:33}

Hence the title bookmarks Jesus life.

But let’s get back on track. What does the wise men tell us next.

“We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.” {Matthew 2:2}


They saw a star in the sky.  A star which signaled the birth of this child.  Can you imagine how amazing and powerful this star must have been?

Matthew Henry says “had seen an extraordinary star, such as they had not seen before; which they took to be an indication of an extraordinary person born in the land of Judea, over which land this star was seen to hover, in the nature of a comet, or a meteor rather, in the lowers regions of the air; this differed so much from any thing that was common that they concluded it to signify something uncommon.”

The wise men made it clear they were on a pilgrimage or journey to worship him, the Christ child. The King of the Jews.

Their trip is a reminder we are all on a journey with Christ.

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