Matthew chapter 2 tells us that wise men from the east came in search of Jesus. These men were ones who studied the skies and many other things as well. So based on the prophecies, they knew that when they saw this new star that the King of the Jews had been born. They came seeking him so that they could worship him. The wise men went straight to King Herod because they (incorrectly) assumed that everyone would be as excited and prepared to worship as they were. King Herod did not know what they were talking about, so he had his scholars research where it was predicted the king would be born. They found the answer in the writings of Micah (5:2); that he would be born in Bethlehem. Herod told the wise men this and asked them to return to tell him when they found the King of the Jews so that he could go worship him too. (Herod did not want to worship Jesus he wanted to kill him because he feared him politically.) He also found out from the wise men when the star appeared so that he would know how old Jesus was.
The wise men proceeded on to Bethlehem and the star continued on in front of them. They did find Jesus by following the star. Now you have probably seen dozens of plays and nativity sets that show baby Jesus in the manger with both the wise men and the shepherds at the same time. That is probably not very accurate!!! The star appeared when Jesus was born. The wise men couldn’t hop on a plane or a train! They had to travel by camel. It probably took several months, maybe even more than a year! You probably also see 3 wise men. However the Bible only says they brought 3 gifts, not how many of them there were. However the important part was that they came to worship or show honor to the King. They brought expensive gifts to show their respect. These men traveled from far away to worship someone else’s king, because they understood how important he was. But the very people he came as the king of weren’t even paying enough attention to realize he had come. Very few realized Jesus had arrived even though thousands were supposedly looking for him. We need to be paying attention and make sure that we, like the wise men, really see Jesus and not get distracted with all the other things to look at and focus on!
Have your child draw or paint a picture of what the wise men’s visit might really have looked like. Talk about the fact that Jesus should be an older infant or toddler. Have them decide how many wise men they want to show.