Summary: Here's a sermon for the Sunday after Christmas. Who were the wise men? Where did they come from and were they really there on the night Jesus was born? This sermon deals with those questions and includes a humorous story to hold your audience's attention.

Are You A Wise Man?

Matthew 2:1-12

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,

2saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."

3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

5So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

6'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;

For out of you shall come a Ruler

Who will shepherd My people Israel.' "

7Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from

them what time the star appeared.

8And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the

young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I

may come and worship Him also."

9When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they

had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the

young Child was.

10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

11And when they had 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 gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and


12Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to

Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

Today's story is about a Live Nativity Scene displayed outside a church during the Christmas Season in a small town in Mississippi. It was a beautiful scene showing that great skill and talent had gone into creating it. The lighting for this nighttime presentation was superb! Members of this church had dressed up in the appropriate costumes. There was a plastic Baby Jesus lying in a manger, but the rest of the scene featured live animals and people. Mary and Joseph knelt before the manger. Shepherds stood nearby with a few sheep to add to the realism of the scene. There was a donkey and a cow, too! Though there were no camels, the three wise men dressed in royal wear were there.

More of that story a little later!

Everyone knows of the wise men connected with the birth of Jesus.

Most manger scenes at Christmas time have 3 wise men...

positioned somewhere near the manger.

Traditionally they are kneeling beside the manger...

worshipping the Baby Jesus.

Who were these wise men?

Where did they come from?

Were they really there the night Jesus was born?

This sermon is designed to examine the facts about the Wise men.


1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,

The wise men put forth a great effort to find Jesus.

They were likely descendants of the wise men...

mentioned in the Book of Daniel.

Daniel 2:27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, "The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king.

Daniel had been a slave in Babylon 600 years earlier.

Daniel knew about the prophesies of the coming Messiah.

No doubt, he told the wise men he knew about a special star.

Numbers 24:17 "I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,

What Daniel said was carried down through the years.

and these wise men knew that someday there would be One born

who would save His people.

Those wise men lived in Babylon.

Babylon was the centre of astronomy and astrology at that time

and Magi were important members of the Babylonian royal court.

How many wise men came to see Jesus?

The Bible doesn't say.

The fact that 3 gifts were given may indicate how many came.

However, there could have been more of them.

They came from a great distance.

The distance from Babylon to Jerusalem is 540 miles...

if they came straight across the desert.

According to Ezra 7:9, it took at least 4 months...

to travel from Babylon to Jerusalem:

"For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem,.."

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