Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:
'"AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH,
ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH;
FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER
WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'"
Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him."
After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
These kings were smart men. They knew the prophecies, and they realized that something special was happening and they wanted to see this King of the Jews. They also knew that they needed to see what King Herod knew. So they stopped in to see him. Maybe they knew that protocol was for them to announce that they were visiting his country. Anyway, they did realize that Herod had no idea what great things were happening.
I love this part of the story. The wanted to worship the Christ child. The praise chorus, Come Let Us Worship and Bow Down always reminds me of this story. The nativity is always set up with the shepherds and Magi entering the stable, and bowing in front of the the Baby in the manger. It was know by many that it would happen, but these people were given the birth announcement for Christ.
The Magi brought in at least three gifts we know about; Gold, frankincense and myrrh. They were gifts given out of prophesy, out of respect, out of love. Were they normal gifts to give a baby in those days? Probably not. But for the King of Creation, there is no such thing as normal.
So today, with the clouds overhead and the rain falling, remember the three wise men who followed the star from the East. We know that those wise men searched for Christ. But do wise men still seek him? Do you seek him? Merry Christmas Eve, Eve.