I’ve always been curious about the 3 wise men who visited Jesus. From Matthew we learn that they came from the East. The Bible indicates that the scholars of the east were in fact very wise; so much so that when it talks about Solomon’s wisdom it compares it to that of the people of the east.
so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. (1 Kings 4:30)
They were expectant and awaiting coming of Jesus. And were intently and intentionally looking for the sign that would indicate His arrival. All of us are seeking and looking for a saviour, and our hearts our expectant to find him.
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, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2 ESV)
And when they came to worship Him they brought gifts (Matthew 2:11)! And the gifts also had special meaning:
- Gold: For the King of kings. It was a gift that symbolized Jesus’ royalty.
- Frankincense: This would be a rather odd gift for a family with a newborn… Traditionally the only use of it for the jews was when they worshiped God. This represented Jesus’ divinity.
- Myrrh: This was traditionally used as a type of perfume but reserved for only special occasions. It was commonly used for burials to put on the clothes that wrapped a dead body. To prevent the smell of decay. This was a representation that Jesus would some day die. A rather strange gift for a child… but a deep look into what the mission of this young baby would be.
Lastly, something that caught my attention when reading this the other day is that after the wise men worshipped and spent time with Jesus, they had a dream which told them to take a different path when they returned home (Matthew 2:12)Yes, this was to prevent Herod from finding Jesus, but could it also be that this too has a deep and relevant meaning to us behind it? I think so. Because, isn’t it true that when WE worship God, he changes us and transforms us? When we have a real encounter with Jesus He molds us and we then can’t help but take a different path in life. We don’t leave the same way we came. How wonderful it is to know that even the “wise” change their ways after encountering God.