There are some things we know about the wise men who traveled far to find the King of the Jews, some things we might guess at, and some things we don’t know. We know they came from the east following a star that foretold the birth of the King of the Jews. We can guess that they were priests of Persia who charted the positions of stars, and that a certain alignment signified this prophecy. We know that they first visited Herod who consulted his scholars who told them that the Messiah, God’s anointed, was to be born in Bethlehem. Off to Bethlehem! There they found Joseph, Mary, and their infant boy.
Now comes something we don’t know. What was their reaction to this? If you were expecting a king or the son of God, would this measure up? Were they disappointed or confused? I think something happened there that convinced them that this was what they were hoping for. They presented their expensive gifts, when they could have just said, “Sorry, wrong house!”. While they slept, God spoke to them in dreams that they must not return to Herod with the news, so they returned by a back road.
Have you ever had an experience where you were expecting God to move in a mighty way and it didn’t turn out to be what you thought it would be? Could God be working in the very ordinary here-and-now? Is God encouraging us to be open to His Spirit in the everyday world we live in? Yes, He is! He is there, in all His power, in the humblest of situations.
Now one thing we don’t know about the wise men is how many there were! There could have been two, three, four, or any number, but the Bible does not say three.
- Carol Barclay