The Birth of Jesus and the Wise Men
Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea during the ruling of King Herod. After his birth, Magi came from the east of Jerusalem to see Christ.
On arrival, the wise men asked where Jesus the king of Jews was born? A star guided them, and they said they had come to worship the king of Jews born in Bethlehem.
The news of the birth of Jesus disturbed Herod as he feared to lose his kingship.
He gathered all the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the people of Jerusalem to collect information about where Jesus was born.
It had been written in the Bible that Christ would be born in Bethlehem of Judea by the Prophets of God.
So, when Herod asked where the Christ was born, they said he born in Bethlehem as it had been prophesied.
Herod continued to investigate the birth of Jesus whereby he called the wise men to inquire more.
He asked them secretly regarding the birth of Jesus, and they shared with him about the time when their guiding star had appeared.
Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem, and He asked them to bring him more details about the birth of Jesus.
He told magi (Magi were priests in Zoroastrianism and the earlier religions of the western Iranians) to go and bring him information about when and where Jesus was born so he can also go and see Christ as he worships him.
The magi embarked on their journey and were guided by the star from the east. They tentatively followed the star until it stopped at the place where Jesus was born.
They were happy because they believed they were about to meet Jesus. They entered and found Jesus with his mother, Mary.
On seeing the child, the wise men bowed down to worship and praise his birth.
They had come bearing gifts and present made of gold, incense, and myrrh. They showered the child with these gifts.
Note that after the wise men were done with their mission, they did not go back to inform Herod where Jesus was born.
This was due to a warning they had received from their dream about not going back to Herod. So, they went back to their country after seeing Jesus.
The History of the Wise Men
According to the Bible, the Magi or wise men came to Bethlehem looking for Jesus after he was born.
It is believed that maybe the wise men came from one area located in Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Yemen.
People refer to the magi as the three wise men, although if you read the Bible, it does not specify if they were three or more.
So, the wise men could have been more than three.
Who Were the Three Wise Men?
There are so many theories surrounding the origin of the magi, but one argument that stands out is that they could have been kings of Yemen.
This is because the kings of Yemen were Jews during the time of the birth of Christ. Also, the magi are said to be three because the gifts that were given to Jesus were three in total.
The Origin of the Name Magi
The name magi is delivered from the Greek word, which means Mago, and in English, it involves magic.
Magos originated in Persia where it was delivered from the word Magupati. The name Magupati or Magos was given to some priests in various parts of Persia.
The magi were linked to kingship since they were viewed as rich people based on the gifts that they brought to Jesus.
Therefore, these are people who held significant positions in society.
What Led the Magi to Bethlehem?
Magi first saw an unusual star in the sky.
This led them to discover that the star was communicating the birth of a special king.
Though no one has been able to distinguish the features of that star, some theories described its looked as comets; others say it looked like supernovas, conjunctions, and many other supernatural elements.
How Did the Migo Learn King Jesus Was to be Born?
There were so many prophesy from the Old Testament prophets about a messiah who would come and be born.
Initially, the Jews had been held captive in ancient Babylon a hundred years ago before the birth of Christ.
Therefore, they had learned and read about the birth of the messiah during the period of their captivation.
How Did the Three Wise Men Look Like?
Although people don’t know much about the three Wise men, their looks have been described in the following ways:
1. Gasper, also known as Casper
He is said to have brown hair and beard or no beard.
He is believed to have worn a green coat with a head crown made of gold with green jewels details.
Gasper is a symbol of Frankincense brought to Jesus, and he was the king of Sheba.
This Wise-man had long white hair and a white beard. He had a gold cloak.
Melchior represented the gold present brought to Jesus, and he was the king of Arabia.
Balthazar is believed to have a dark complexion and represents the myrrh gift brought to Jesus. He was the king of Tarse and Egypt.
Why did Herod ask the wise men to bring back feedback regarding where Jesus was born.
Herod had no intention of going to receive a messiah, but he had motives for killing Jesus because he saw him as a threat to his throne.
The Meaning of the Gifts Given to Jesus by the Wise men
The gifts that the Magi brought to baby Jesus seemed to be unique and unusual. This is because such gifts could not be given to a kid, most notably of the age of Jesus.
But the Christians tend to believe that the awards had a hidden meaning which is interpreted in the following;
Religiously, gold is associated with kings since only kings wore ornaments made of gold. So, this symbolizes that Jesus was and still is the king of kings.
This ornament is used in churches to worship, and therefore, it symbolizes that all people should worship Jesus.
This perform is used on the dead body to eliminate the bad odor. This gift is said to symbolize the death and suffering of Jesus Christ.
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Main Points About the Wise Men
- The Christmas story of the Three Wise Men is also known as the Magi or the Three Kings.
- They are very important characters in the Christmas story and the Christmas celebration in general.
- According to the popular Christmas story, the three wise men are distinguished foreigners that visited baby Jesus at his birth.
- They presented to baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts symbols of Jesus’ Kingship, deity and death respectively.
- Although they appeared once in the story of the birth of Jesus, the wise men from the East made a lasting impression in the Christmas story.
That these men, who came with gifts for baby Jesus, were three is actually just a guess, as they brought three gifts.
The bible doesn’t say how many they were, or that they were kings, but they are still often described as the three kings.
They were certainly men of wisdom though, had great knowledge of astrology and knew the unusual star in the sky announced the birth of a special king in Israel.
Word Cloud for the Wise Men
The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on the Wise Men. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.