“Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, 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.10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” Matthew 2.7-12
We assume there were three magi (or wisemen) because there were three gifts. But no where in Scripture does it tell us the precise number of magi. Neither does it tell us exactly who these people were. Maybe kings, maybe astronomers, maybe prophets. And all it says is that they came from the east — Babylon, Africa or Asia? We do not know.
But it doesn’t really matter because the focus isn’t upon them anyway. It’s upon the child in the manger. The aristocracy who really matters is Jesus. Now his birth has caused quite a stir. The Jewish King Herod is all up in arms, conspiring against the infant boy, plotting to take his life, lying to the magi who have come to visit Jesus. It takes a lot to get a king riled up, all the more reason to believe that what happened is true.
The scripture tells us the magi find the baby Jesus and his mother (where was Joseph at this time?) beneath the place where the star stopped and he was lying in a manger. What they do next is remarkable and is an example for all of us — they bowed down, worshipped him, and brought him gifts. (A method for modern day worship which we practice today in singing, praying and offerings.)
They then presented the holy family with treasures like they had not experienced before — gold, frankincense and myrrh. How much was the worth of these gifts? No idea but the story says “they opened their treasures,” I assume were significant.
And through it all, the baby Jesus, God in the flesh, rested in the manger, aware of his surroundings, cared for by loving parents and adored by strangers. And through it all, Jesus remains central to the story. He IS the story.
Have you made him your story? Have you bowed down, worshipped him and offered your heart to him? Have you made Jesus the center of your story, given him your life and allowed his light to shine through you?
Why not do so today?
“O Lord God, you are faithful. I give you praise, I offer you love, I commit my life to you. Thank you for allowing me to have life and to live in obedience to your word. Forgive my sins and restore me to the joy of your salvation. I call upon your name and the power of your Holy Spirit right now. Fil me with your grace and use me for the expanse of your Kingdom. And thank you for the coming of the Christ child who has redeemed the world of their sin. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen