Matthew 2:1-12 The Wise Men

Matthew 2:1-12 The Wise Men

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6     ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for out of you will come a ruler

who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


Magi were men of learning, scholars from the East. Sometimes the word Magi is translated “wise men.” What a flattering thing it must have been to be called wise men. But what made them wise? Did they pass some tests? Or was it because they had read many books? Perhaps. But from our point of view, there is one reason they were the wisest men of all.

These men went to great lengths to find and learn about the Savior. If they came from Babylon or Persia, which seems likely, they traveled as much as 1,500 miles. It took them as long as three months to reach Jerusalem. They dropped the important things they were doing at home. They spent large sums of money. They endured primitive travel in arid terrain. They were uncertain of what they would find when they arrived in Israel.

Another way the wise men showed themselves to be wise was by bringing Jesus gifts: gold, worthy of a king; incense, recognizing Jesus’ deity; myrrh, pointing forward to his death. Such gifts showed a great deal of thought. They were very appropriate and costly.

Remember the saying, “Wise men still seek him”? It’s true, isn’t it? Wise men still seek Jesus. Wise men still realize they don’t know as much about Jesus as they ought to know. They keep learning about Jesus in Bible study.

They continue to worship Jesus, doing whatever is necessary to show him their love and give him their best.

Like the wise men in Jesus’ day, today’s wise men give Jesus gifts -gifts that cost something, gifts that take thought and planning, gifts that are cheerfully given, gifts that are appropriate for a Savior-King.

It’s one thing to be considered wise by one’s fellowmen. It’s a much greater thing to be considered wise by God.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me see ever more clearly the value of the wisdom that knows you as my only Savior. Give me and many others that wisdom, which gives eternal life and unending blessings. Amen.