Monday, December 12, 2011

"Where is he that is born King of the Jews?"

 And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. ” [Matthew: 2:10-12]  
Wise Men on Camels Wise Men on Camels
The Wise Men
When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men  from the east came to Jerusalem and said, "Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east  and have come to worship him." When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem.
Herod the Great was a descendant of Esau and, therefore, a traditional enemy of the Jews. He was a convert to Judaism, but his conversion was perhaps politically motivated. It was toward the close of his reign that wise men from the East came in search of the King of the Jews.
The city that should have received the news with joy was disturbed by anything that might upset its status quo or risk the displeasure of the hated Roman rulers.
It was the star in the East that somehow made them aware of the birth of a King, whom they came to worship. Possibly they were familiar with Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah’s arrival.
Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, "Where will the Messiah be born?"They told him, "He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote, 'Bethlehem in the land of Judea,  you are very important among the towns of Judea. From your town  will come a leader, who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel.' "

Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. He told them, "Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too."

The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They were thrilled and excited to see the star.

When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh  and gave them to him. Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road. 

Wise Men on CamelsWise Men on Camels

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