The Wise Men—who were they? We don’t know as much about them as we think we do. How many were there? Three? Matthew says that they brought three types of gifts to the Christ child—gold, frankincense, and myrrh—but he doesn’t say how many paid him a visit. They were kings, correct? Matthew doesn’t call them kings. Later Christian writers bestowed that title on them because Isaiah 60:1–6, refers to "kings [coming] to the brightness of your dawn" bearing "gold and frankincense.” Their names—Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar—were also bestowed by later tradition. Matthew does not name them, except to call them magi. Magi were court astrologers who advised the kings of Persia. They read the stars and learned of a newborn king of the Jews and traveled to Bethlehem to pay him homage.
I take a dim view of astrology, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day! The magi were led to Christ by a star. Most of us were led to Christ by other means: parents who brought us to Church, a believing spouse who won us over to the faith, maybe even a TV evangelist or a tract put in our hands at the airport back when you could hand out religious literature at airports.
However we came to faith, we believe with the magi that the future belongs to Christ. The magi gave the Christ child three valuable gifts. In that spirit, I invite you to invest in the future—Christ’s future—in three ways:
May the Wise Men inspire you to be wise Christian women and men. Give of your treasure to the one who has entrusted you with the priceless treasures of forgiveness and eternal life.
Image Credit: JESUS MAFA. Visit of the Three Wise Men, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48292 [retrieved December 15, 2022]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr (contact page: https://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr/contact).
First Presbyterian ChurchOF HADDONFIELD
20 King's Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033(856) 429-1960