“4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:” Matt 2:4,5
Balthasar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India are names from Armenian tradition. They are not from the Bible. The Bible did not specify the number of Wise Men or Magi. However, there are 3 gifts, gold, myrrh and frankincense which could be the reason people believe there were 3 Wise men.
From the passage above you can tell exactly how these religious leaders and experts of the law showed their faith on their Messiah. They knew the Savior they represent would be born in Bethlehem according to the Holy Scriptures. But what did they do? Did they go to worship the Messiah?
The Wise Men
Here’s the story. A delegation of Wise men from the East arrived at King Herod’s castle in Jerusalem. Elegant looking, these Magi possesses extraordinary skills and knowledge in astrology, dream interpretation, sacred writings, magic, and religion. King’s special advisers could be their official title like those wise men during Daniel’s time in the Old Testament. Along with soldiers to protect them from bandits they had just trekked a thousand miles riding in camels, maybe horses. Remember Nehemiah, the king’s cupbearer traveling with bodyguards- soldiers when he inspected Jerusalem’s wall?
Maybe a little bit tired but the Magi unhesitatingly expressed their explicit purpose of visit, to worship the
Herod The Great
Let me explain. There are Six Herods in the New Testament. Wait. Thinking of a biblical name for your unborn child? Not Herod
So yes, Herod played along with the Wise Men when he called the chief priests or the modern day pastors asking them where the Messiah was to be born. In unison the experts shouted “ In Bethlehem” plus they quoted the Bible reference text. That’s a place about 5 miles South of Jerusalem. Not too far, compared to the thousand miles trip by the Magi coming from either Persia or Babylon, the modern day Iran or Iraq.
Worship and Gifts
Again what’s the sole purpose of their trip ?— v2 “to worship Him”.!! Did those religious experts intend to visit their real
“They went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was “. (v9) When they came to the house and saw Mary with the child, they bowed down and worshipped him. They opened their treasures and presented him gifts of gold, frankincense
Let’s go back to those religious professionals who stayed at the comfort of their job or home. They chose to worship King Herod, serving man instead of serving God. To
I heard that being vulnerable is like unmasking our imposter self. In our
On their visit to Jerusalem, the Wise Men sacrificed their time, talent and resources. They made a huge effort traveling thousands of miles, several weeks on that dangerous, sandy stormy roads. Just for the purpose of worshipping the King and Savior. The Wise Men did not seem to be judgmental on how Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus look like as poor peasants. They just believed in that star in the sky, their research and their skill set. Nowadays we have the convenience of cars, air-conditioned church, but how many miles or km will it take you to go to worship? What kind of effort, sacrifices or gifts you can offer to signify your love and worship?
Finally, consider Mary and Joseph- when God called them as instruments to give birth to the Messiah. “Let it be to me according to your word “ Lk 1:30 They gave their all and trusted God for provision, the gifts of the Magi to name a few. During the end term of Mary’s pregnancy, they traveled from Galilee, a city of Nazareth to Bethlehem 240 miles most likely by walking. Later on, when Jesus turned 2 years old, they traveled from Bethlehem to Egypt (350 miles). That is, to escape Herod’s massacre of the innocents. Then when Herod died they went back to Nazareth coming from Egypt, that is about 400 miles. (see Arthur Blessitt’s Miles Jesus and Mary walked, www.blessit.com).
So imagine that even if they rode in a donkey or camel in that long dusty road. Still, our modern means of transportation today — the high tech cars, the superhighways are incomparable to their travelling experience