Summary: Jesus received gifts as a small child from the 3 wisemen that are symbolic of the gifts that he gives to us.


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Pastor James May


At the time of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, there appeared a star over Judea that had never been seen before. This star was the fore-runner or announcement of the birth of the “Bright and Morning Star” this spoken of in Revelation 22:16, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."

Some scholars say that the star was actually an angel that appeared to the Wise Men, but most reject this theory.

One popular Bible scholar says that the star was simply the light or glory of the Lord, which shone about the shepherds, when the angel brought them the news of Christ’s birth, and which at so great a distance appeared as a star to these wise men.

Others say that it was a comet, such as has been thought to tell of the birth or death of some illustrious person.

For most of us though, we take what the Bible says literally and we believe that it was a real star. It was a new and an unusual one, such as had never been seen, nor observed before; and is called his star, the star of the king born, because it appeared on his account, and was the sign of his birth.

They saw the star "in the east"; not in the eastern part of the heavens, but they saw it when they were in the east, in their own country; and according to the best observations they were able to make, it was in that part of the heavens right over the land of Judea. Thus they concluded that the king of the Jews was born; but the question is how they should know and be assured that such a person was born by the appearance of the star?

There is a prophecy of Balaam’s in Numbers 24:17, "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, …”

This was to be among the first prophecies of the coming Messiah. These wise men took the appearance of this star to be a sign of the Messiah’s coming. They interpreted these words to mean that, when a star shall "walk" or steer its course from Jacob, or above, or over the land of Israel, then a sceptre, or sceptre bearer, that is, a king, shall rise out of Israel.

The prophecy of Balaam, who lived in the east, might be traditionally handed down to this time, and be well known by these men; and who, observing such a star appear over the land of Judea, might conclude that now the sceptre bearer or king was born. Besides, Zoroastres, the author of the sect of the Magi or wise men, and who appears to be a Jew by birth, and to be acquainted with the writings of the Old Testament, and with this prophecy, spoke of the birth of Christ to his followers; and told them when he should be born, a star would appear, and shine in the day, and ordered them to go where that star directed, and offer gifts, and worship him.

Thus we see, that as result of their knowledge of the prophecies of Balaam, and of the many traditional teachings of the Jews concerning the coming of the Messiah, the Wise Men were much convinced that they had to travel to Judea to find this newborn king in Israel. It was their bound duty to go and bow down to him and bring him gifts, or offerings of peace and friendship.

And so they came, traveling across the desert sands and the dusty roads of Judea. After stopping at Herod’s palace to see if they could obtain information, the Wise Men refused to give away all of their knowledge and then left the palace where they once again caught vision of the star that led them to the little town of Bethlehem. It was there that the star stood still and they found the young child Jesus with Mary his mother.

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