The Wise Men and the King of the Jews
Matthew 2:1 Declares,
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
The wise men came from the east, most likely modern day Iraq or Daniel's land in the times of Nebuchadnezzar Darius and Cyrus
(Incidentally Saddam Hussien built palaces like the ancient king Nebuchadnezzar and tried to live like him).Daniel was elevated to third highest
in the kingdom during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar and was also highly placed in the same realm under Darius and Cyrus.
He was a man much respected, admired and taken notice of. A man of supreme honour, integrity and wisdom, And like all men of such high regard
he had his followers, students, disciples whatever! His love, trust, fear and knowledge of the living God was so awesome that many
wanted to know about Him, (God that is) even mighty kings physically bowed to Daniel as they saw him standing in the place of and
representing a Holy and all powerful God. So Daniel taught many about The Living God and a following was born which had it's students and disciples
right down to the time of Christ.
The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and by this kind of fear the Bible means love, honour, respect and acceptance of the Lord.
The wise men are specially called wise men by the Holy Spirit in the penning of the Scriptures, and that's because they feared the Lord as Daniel had taught them hundreds
of years before, they were believers of a gospel not yet written, they loved the Lord, they travelled a long way to see and worship Him which was no
easy thing in those days. No cars ! No trains No planes etc and who said they came on camels.The Arabians had fine horses they are world famous for their stallions and the
word camels is not spoken of in the New Testament anywhere in the plural sense and is mentioned 4 times only in the singular sense and that with reference to things spiritual.
The word of God does not tell us that there were only 3 wise men. Mankind has assumed that because only 3 kinds of gifts are named that there were only 3 persons.
All down through history and even in the modern world whenever people of importance and substance travel they always have a retinue of servants and soldiers or to-day
we call them bodyguards or security personnel. So the wise men were a goodly sized body of people like a small army so much so that Herod and all Jerusalem were a
bit scared of these men from the east. They would not have been afraid of just 3 men on camels .So Herod sent them on their way at first instead of just seizing them at the start.
There would possibly be more than one gift of gold, more than one gift of frankincense, and more than one gift of myrrh, there could have been gifts of cloth and other
valuable things as befitting a new king. Jesus even though He was a young child and not a baby and being in essence God in the flesh would not have kept the newly
acquired wealth to himself but rather would have given it to his earthly parents for the good of the family etc. These gifts would have been used to keep and feed the family
when God sent them to Egypt for safety and also for the return journey and for Joseph to set up a business as a carpenter.
When Herod learned about what time the star first appeared he figured that Jesus must be nearly 2 years old since he sent soldiers to kill every child under 2 years of age
thinking to himself "I'll get him for sure this way but the Son of God was long gone with His mother and Joseph.
The wise men are the first people in Scripture to refer to Jesus as the King of the Jews and not the King of Israel
as all previous Kings. Matthew 2:2 says "Where is he that is born King of the Jews? This is not just a question concerning the whereabouts of Jesus but is also a prophesy
concerning His future, His death and earthly destiny because the next time Jesus is called the King of the Jews after His trial and before His crucifixion.
The Roman soldiers put crown of thorns on His head (and not gently either) then they put a scarlet/purple robe on His shoulders and said " hail King of the Jews"
They also put a reed in His right hand to signify a sceptre. There 17 references in the New Testament naming Christ as the king of the jews.
Jesus had to be crowned a King before He died so that in the future He could be called "KING OF KINGS"
All four gospels talk about Jesus as being the King of the Jews during His trial etc and Jesus does not deny it then.
These wise men spoke with confidence and demanded an answer, these men knew about Jesus, these men it seems knew about Calvary to come and the reasons for
this divine birth, these men had already been looking for a heavenly sign of announcement and not a comet either, these men knew as soon as the star appeared what
it was all about, these men were learned, educated, respected, rich men of high stature within their own realm, not kings or magi nor has God even named them in
His Word, but! these men it seems knew all about Daniel and his God and! He was their God also, judging by their reactions when they saw the star again, this time over
the house where the young child was as they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. Whenever reference is made to Jesus in the narrative concerning the wise men
He is always called "the young child" not babe or baby or infant.
Herod reckoned about 2 years old that's why he killed all children up to 2 years of age.
Men of science and letters would have you believe that it was a comet or an asteroid or a freak celestial light show that the wise men saw, not so,
The Bible says they saw HIS STAR in the east and then the next time they saw it was after they had spoken to Herod and they instantly recognized it and only from that
moment did they follow it to His home, not all the way on the long journey from the east. Incidentally if they had followed the star from the start of their journey they would
not have needed Herod's advice because the star stood directly above the house where Jesus was, not a stable as most people seem to think. This star must have
been something to look at over the house since they knew the moment it shone what it was for, instant recognition it seems, It seems as though it appeared
and disappeared at will because no-one else ever reported it. Some people celebrate the birth of a son or daughter with fireworks, that star must have been some firework.
It's just as if And God said "Let there be fireworks for my Son" and a star exploded into being, He is the ultimate pyrotechnic technician.
And so when the visiting wise men had finished their mission God came to them in a dream and told them to return home a different way for 2 reasons. 1 God wanted
the wise men to be safe after their self sacrifice on behalf of His Son and Herod must not know where Jesus is.
How thick and helpless is Satan? much as he tried to do away with the Lord in childhood he could not even tell Herod exactly where He was and when he did find out
he was too late, again! Herod was just another pawn in God's divine plan. The modern telling of the 3 wise men and the 3 gifts is perhaps sufficient to satisfy modern
Christmas ideas but it does not do justice to a group of men who risked their lives in Herod’s barbaric country to worship the child of strangers, surely these men had
the Living God in their hearts.
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
May the Lord bless all who read this.
Written by Wilf Mossop
Scriptural References for the Wise men & The King of the Jews
Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Matthew 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Matthew 2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem,
and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
Matthew 27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews?
And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
Matthew 27:29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee
before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
Matthew 27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Mark 15:2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.
Mark 15:9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
Mark 15:12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?
Mark 15:18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
Mark 15:26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Luke 23:3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
Luke 23:37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
Luke 23:38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
John 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
John 18:39 But ye have a custom that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
John 19:3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
John 19:19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
John 19:21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.