Matthew 2:1-10 (The Message Translation)
1 -2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory— this was during Herod's kingship—a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, "Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We're on pilgrimage to worship him." 3 -4When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, "Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?"
5 -6They told him, "Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:
It's you, Bethlehem, in Judah's land,
no longer bringing up the rear.
From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel."
7 -8Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, "Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I'll join you at once in your worship." 9 -10Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time! 11They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.
After traveling for about two years the wise men seeking Christ arrived in Bethlehem. They thought surely King Herod would know where the future leader of Israel lived. But this became a threat to Herod for he felt his rule was in jeopardy. The wise men went on as instructed and found the home of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. They entered the home and kneeled in the presence of Jesus. They presented three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Warned by God these men did not return to Herod, but took a different route to return to their homeland.
God reminds people of His promises. Herod was reminded of what the prophet Micah said. Verses following those above reminded the people of what Jeremiah said when Herod decided to kill all male children 2 years old and under. Most of all God reminded Mary and Joseph who their child was; a future leader, a savior, one to be honored and sought after. Something else to remember is to separate tradition from God’s actual word. The wise men arrived at the home of Mary and Joseph 2 years after the birth of Jesus. Modern mangers always show the wise men present offering their gifts, but only the shepherds the angels spoke to went to the manger. Also we don’t know the number of wise men. It is assumed there were 3 because there were three gifts, but there could have been more or less. Make sure to know God’s word, its truth and the promises He makes to us all. His word will lives and is there to lead us through our daily lives.