Summary: Hebrew scholars in Jesus’ day clearly expected Bethlehem to be the birth place of the Messiah. These men were from Persia whose knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures could be traced back to the time of Daniel.
How to Become Wise Matthew 2: 1-2, 10-11
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, 2 saying, “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.”
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And 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 myrrh.
Hebrew scholars in Jesus’ day clearly expected Bethlehem to be the birth place of the Messiah.
These men were from Persia whose knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures could be traced back to the time of Daniel.
Ever wonder why educated men would drop everything to follow a star for hundreds of miles? You’re not alone there has been a lot of speculation about the star. (This star wasn’t a normal star ‘Super Nova’ or a ‘conjunction of planets’) primary because this brightness moved around. I believe this was a supernatural event, like the Shekinah that guided the Israelites.
These trained students (these were magicians, astrologers) of the stars observed an unexplained phenomenon in the heavens, and somehow interpreted this sign with a change in the way things were. They saw it as a sign of the Messiah’s birth!
They pictured: 1. Eye’s being open. 2. New covenant birth. 3. Grace covering the sins of those who acknowledge Him. 4. The lame to walk. 5. Wisdom from above. 6. A new heart. 7. Transparency.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5NKJ And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Think about this, The sign in the sky called for these wise men to prepare themselves for a trip, a trip of a life-time. These men believed so much in what they were doing and what they saw that they prepared themselves with expensive gifts to give unto this baby-king. Future Savior of the world Jesus Christ!
These wise men properly had some knowledge of the Old-Testament because in Micah 5:2TM But you, Bethlehem, David’s country, the runt of the litter—From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule Israel.
He’ll be no upstart, no pretender. His family tree is ancient and distinguished.
Fact: In the Old Testament there are some 300 prophecies of the first coming of the Messiah and 500 of the second coming, all of them made hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus and fulfilled to the letter in Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
George Heron, a French mathematician, calculated that the odds of one man fulfilling only 40 of those prophecies are 1 in 10 to the power of 157. That is a 1 followed by 157 zeros. Compare it to this; your odds on winning the state lottery are 14 followed by 6 zeros.
These wise men saw that this star, or this glory represented several things; moreover, if we want to be wise we will also.
#1 Hope. Without the star (Jesus) there isn’t any hope!
II Thessalonians 2:16-17NLT Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, 17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
Hope for eternity, what a gift! This star didn’t merely lead the wise men to the fulfillment of their expectations; it points each of us to the hope of salvation –Jesus Christ!
A young man sent a love letter to his girlfriend. It read: "Darling, I’d climb the highest mountain, sail the widest ocean, cross the hottest desert just to see you.” P.S. - “I’ll be over Saturday night if it doesn’t rain."
These wise men weren’t fickle, they had hope, they were willing to risk everything to find this star (glory)!
Proverbs 9:7-12TM If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. So don’t waste your time on a scoffer; all you’ll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that’s different—they’ll love you for it! Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it; tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it. Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God, insight into life from knowing a Holy God. It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens, and the years of your life ripen. Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life; mock life and life will mock you.