By Ray Luck
Pastor, Oak Grove Baptist Church, Athens
There is a song that is nearly always sung at Christmas time titled “We Three Kings of Orient Are.” The song assumes three kings based on the Scriptural fact that three gifts were presented to the baby Jesus (gold — royalty; frankincense — priestly role, and myrrh — a burial ointment). A pastor friend of mine, Bill Vest, preaches a sermon in which he states that there was most likely a whole entourage of Magi and servants that could have numbered a thousand or more. He also said that these Magi could have been part of the group that had been tutored by Daniel. If that were the case then they most likely were constantly scanning the skies looking for that special star that would guide them to the one born King of the Jews. These men were also known throughout the Middle East as king makers. Thus when they came to Herod great fear came over him and all of Jerusalem, because he would do anything to keep his throne.
It has always been interesting to me that Herod did not follow the Wise Men to Bethlehem, after all it was just seven miles from Jerusalem and as King of Judea he had every right to do that. However, it does show that God is in control, even in the most adverse of circumstances. Because Herod did not follow the Wise Men many innocent lives were destroyed at the hand of this wicked king. I do believe that God has a special place in His Kingdom for those who over the years have been slaughtered either by wicked rulers or the abortionist knife.
In spite of all that was going on in Jerusalem surrounding the visit of the Wise Men, they never lost their focus. They had traveled a great distance to see this new- born king, they had come to worship Him.
The star that appeared in the sky was a phenomenon that they, as astronomers, had never witnessed before and would never again. Modern astronomers have studied the skies for years trying to determine the origin of the star of Bethlehem. Many have probably come up with what they think is the answer. But the true answer is that God created the heavens and the earth which He still controls and in any way He chooses. At the time of Jesus’ birth He configured the stars in such a manner to point the way to Jesus. The Wise Men saw it and followed it until they found the Christ child. Upon finding Him they worshiped Him with the gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, gifts fit for the King of Kings. There was a Christmas cantata popular a few years ago titled “Wise Men Still Seek Him.” The cantata was based around this passage of Scripture with the premise that not only did the ancient Wise Men seek King Jesus, but if men, women, boys and girls are wise today they will also seek Jesus, who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is only through Him that we have hope and life for all eternity. The Wise Men found Jesus, their lives were changed and so it is even today that all who seek Him will find Him, because Jesus is always ready to receive all seeking Him!