With the Christmas season nearing let’s examine two very interesting things about the wise men and this important time in history:
First, notice that the Bible does not say that there were three wise men! In fact, nowhere we are told how many there were. There could have just as easily been three hundred as three. We need to be careful that we do not accept what Hollywood or tradition tells us as being biblical.
Secondly, notice where these “wise men” came from. A map will reveal that if they came from the immediate eastern country, they would have come from ancient Babylon. These wise men from Babylon had a portion of the Bible that told them of a coming King. The portion that they had was the book of Daniel who was the greatest of all wise men in Babylon. Daniel 9:24-26
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
The total of sixty-nine weeks, using a day to equal a year would give a total of 483 years to the birth of this Messiah. From the time that Daniel wrote these words, wise men had been counting down the time from generation to generation and at last, they knew that according to the Bible, it was time for the arrival of the Messiah. To confirm the Word of God, a star appeared as a sign, showing these spiritual men that it was time to search out the Prince.
What three things did the wise men know about Jesus? According to Matthew 2:11
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh”
These “wise men” also knew three things about Jesus: that He was the Messiah, a Prince and that He was to be killed. Because of what the Word of God told them, they brought gifts to proclaim what they knew: gold celebrated the royalty of Jesus as a Prince; frankincense, which was used in worship services, celebrated the fact that as Messiah, Jesus was to be worshiped; and myrrh was given to testify to the fact that Jesus would be killed, as myrrh was used to anoint the dead for burial.
For further contemplation: Do you worship and honor Jesus, giving gifts from your heart to He who is the Prince of Peace, the Messiah, and The King who died upon the cross for all sin?