What We Know (and Do Not Know) about the Wise Men

Here are some things we do and do not know about the magi (aka, wise men) who traveled a very far distance to bring gifts to King Jesus.

We do not know exactly how many people were in their caravan.

Because the Bible uses the plural word “men,” we know there were at least two people, but the caravan could have been much larger.

We do know that they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

We do not know exactly where they were from.

We do know that they lived in a country that was located to the east of Israel.

We do know that it took them a long time to travel to Jerusalem to inquire where the newborn king was located.

Since King Herod asked them when they first saw the star then later ordered the execution of all baby boys age two and under, it seems that they must have traveled for many months, if not over a year.

We do know that God spoke to them in “their language,” the language of the stars.

These magi studied the stars. They were a mix of astronomers and astrologers. God chose to speak to them through a heavenly sign to lead them to the Christ child, the King born to be the Savior of the world, for all who believe.

We do not know exactly where in Bethlehem that the wise men found Joseph, Mary and Jesus.

The Bible says that they were in a house, not a stable. A period of time seems to have occurred from Jesus’ birth and the arrival of the magi.

We do know what the primary purpose of their trip was: to pay tribute to the newborn king. They brought their treasures to Him.

Today, wise men and women continue to follow their example. Wise men and women today search diligently for King Jesus. And when they realize that He was born miraculously, lived perfectly, died sacrificially, rose victoriously, and will return imminently, they respond by putting their faith and trust in Him. They bring their very best to Him, and give their lives to Him as an offering.

As songwriter Paul Baloche writes:

Over the skies of Bethlehem appeared a star
While angels sang to lowly shepherds
Three Wisemen seeking truth they traveled from afar
Hoping to find the child from heaven
Falling on their knees they bow before the humble Prince of Peace

We bring an offering of worship to our King
No one on earth deserves the praises that we sing
Jesus may You receive the honor that You’re due
O Lord I bring an offering to You

The sun cannot compare to the glory of Your love
There is no shadow in Your presence
No mortal man would dare to stand before Your throne
Before the Holy One of heaven
It’s only by Your blood
It’s only through Your mercy
Lord, I come

I bring an offering of worship to my King
No one on earth deserves the praises that I sing
Jesus, may you receive the honor that You’re due
O Lord, I bring an offering to You

A Prayer: “King Jesus, at Christmastime we celebrate your birth. You are the King of heaven. You are the Savior of the world. I worship you. You are my Savior. Help me every day to give my life to you as an offering. Help me to honor you with everything I do, so that others will know that you are my King.”  

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