The Birth in Bethlehem
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him...
The little town of Bethlehem was a small village 5 or 6 miles outside the city of Jerusalem. Wise men, magi, from the East came to worship Him who is called, “King of the Jews.” The exact number is not written but is thought to be three from the idea that there were three gifts given. It is not told how God caused the magi to know that the King of the Jews had been born, only that He gave them the sign of His star in the east.
Herod, the king, asked the wise men to search for the Child diligently and when they had found Him, bring back news so he too, could come and worship Him. Herod didn’t want to worship Jesus but wanted to kill the Child whom he thought was a potential threat to his throne.
Scripture makes it known that the magi fell down and worshipped Jesus and not Mary giving Him treasures of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold throughout history has always been considered the most precious of metals and a symbol of material value and wealth. Frankincense was a costly, magnificent smelling incense, that was used only for the most special of occasions. Myrrh was a perfume, not quite so expensive as frankincense, but yet, very valuable and used with other spices in the preparation of bodies for burial, even Jesus (John 19:39).
What life changing events our God designed for the world to behold and embrace. Imagine a star moving in the heavens, guiding men from a far off country to follow this phenomenon, then falling down and worshiping the Child, while presenting Him with costly gifts fit for a King.
Lord, I am amazed that You orchestrated such a magnificent birth.