Wise Men Visit the Child, Matthew 2
At the same time, nearly a thousand miles away in Iraq, there were several priests and astronomers who studied the stars and the ancient prophecies. They got all excited because, according to their old records, some of them written by Old Daniel himself, a certain Star had just then appeared in the universe that signaled that a Wonderful Prince would be born in Israel. The child would become the King of the Jewish people and He would affect the whole world!
“We’ve got to see this!” they told each other. So, some of them collected expensive gifts made of gold and perfumes and scented oils of a lot of value. They packed up food and water and got camels and guards and headed out across the desert to Israel.
It took quite a while for them to travel so far. Finally they got to Jerusalem. An Edomite named Herod, who was not even a Jew, had been appointed by the Romans as King of Israel. (Caesar was the Emperor) The Wise Men went, of course, to the king to inquire about the little Prince that had been born nearly two years before when that beautiful Star appeared in the sky.
King Herod got shook up! He didn’t know about any “king” being born! He called in all his priests and advisors and they hunted up the prophecies and found that it was predicted 476 times that a child born in Bethlehem would someday reign over Israel. Herod called the Wise men and told them they would have to travel five more miles past the City to find the town.
He said, “Go to Bethlehem and if you find him hurry back and tell me so that I can pay my respects, too.”
What he really wanted was to destroy the Child’s chance to take his throne! He was a jealous, vicious old man who had his own wives and sons killed!
When the Wise Men started out, suddenly that marvelous Star appeared again and they were delighted! They followed it until it seemed to stand shining down on a house. There they found the little boy, now a toddler. They went in and bowed down to the precious Holy Child and gave him their valuable gifts.
When they left him they had a message from God in a dream not to go back and tell Herod where the innocent little boy was. They packed up their camels and went by a different route back to Iraq and bypassed Jerusalem altogether.
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