Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Where is He who was born the King? Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great who was the founder of the Herodian dynasty. King Herod knew the prophecies and even though this was speaking of God in the form of the Messiah, Herod wanted his own rule not God’s. It’s thought that Herod was an Idumean which is to say he was a descendent of Esau. Therefore, Herod was an Edomite and his ancestors were actually relatives and enemies of the Jewish people. From God’s perspective Herod and his line had no business ruling God’s people Israel. In the second verse we see the arrival of the wise men and the word used here for “saying” is a present participle which suggest a continuous action on their part. This is another way of saying the wise men were traveling throughout the city asking anyone and everyone they met about the “King of the Jews” and where He could be found. This most certainly would have garnered Herod’s attention. These wise men were magi most likely from Persia, whose knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures would have dated back to the time of Daniel.
If we recall the time of the Jewish exile in Babylon, Daniel became an advisor to the king. Because of the wisdom given to Daniel and his friends by God, as a result of their faithfulness. Daniel rose to become the “Chief Wiseman.” In other words Daniel became governor over the wisemen of Babylon and advisor to the king. In that position he would have taught the Hebrew scriptures to the Babylonians. It would have taken a while for the wisemen to travel to Jerusalem, so by the time they arrived Mary and Joseph were no longer in a stable, but in a house. They brought gifts associated with kingship. Gifts meant to not only honor Jesus as a king, but has the King of kings. These were gifts meant to convey His lordship and role as the King of kings. What’s interesting is these gentiles brought Jesus gifts and worshiped Him as King which had a prophetic significance since He came to reconcile all people back to God. And at the culmination of God’s plan of redemption Jesus will return as King of kings and Lord of lords. And our greatest gift is knowing that through His birth and death, we have eternal life in Him.