7Then Herod privily called the Wise-men, and learned of them exactly what time the star appeared. 8And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search out exactly concerning the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I also may come and worship him. 9And they, having heard the king, went their way; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way (Matthew 2.7-14, ASV).
Memory Verse – And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; – Matthew 2.10-11a
Herod and all of Jerusalem were troubled after hearing about this One who was born King of the Jews. After Herod had meet with the chief priests and scribes about where Christ would be born; he met privately with the wise men to learn exactly when the star had appeared (vs. 7).
After finding out what he wanted to know he sent them on their way, telling them, “Go and search out exactly concerning the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I also may come and worship him” (Matthew 2.8, ASV).
The wise men departed following the star until it came and stood over where the young child was. The wise men were excited when the star finally stopped; and they rejoiced with exceeding great joy (vs. 10).
Here is where we must take special note, as our traditions have caused us to make many errors about when and where the wise men were in the Christmas story. We also need to understand the number of wise men present at the visitation is mostly likely not three, but many more. Because of our traditions and the number of gifts Matthew lists, we make the assumption there were only three wise man.
First let us discuss where the wise men are when they visit Jesus Christ for the first time. As we noted in the yesterday’s lesson verse one says, “Now AFTER the birth of Jesus…” (vs. 1). Christ has been born, and sometime later the wise men come onto the scene, they are from the east and have to travel a great distance to see this child. His star appeared when He was born, not before and therefore, they could not have been at the stable nor the manger.
Also, because of their position in the royal courts they would never have come to such a lowly place as the stables. So, they began their travels, in a large caravan, across the desert to seek out, to worship this Great King, and to Honor Him with Gifts to reflect His worth, His kingdom, and His sacrifice.
Notice when they come to the place where the young child is, they rejoice with exceeding great joy (vs. 10). They do not view this as the end of their journey but the climax of a long-anticipated event. An exciting culmination off all they have been waiting for, and all that the scriptures have said would happen.
The prophet Isaiah declared long ago, “For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His dominion will be vast and he will bring immeasurable prosperity. He will rule on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom, establishing it and strengthening it by promoting justice and fairness, from this time forward and forevermore. The Lord’s intense devotion to his people will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9.6-7, NET).
These wise men came to see the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He would not be found in a stable nor a manger. He would be in a home, with his parents. He would not be surrounded by filthy animals but by the cleanliness of a home. This is where the wise men, important people in their own right, would find such a King.
The song ‘The First Noel’ dates back to the 17th century. In 1823, William B Sandys (1792-1874), and Davies Gilbert (1767-1839) edited and added lyrics to create the version we sing today. The second and third verses show the wise men’s determination to find the new born King.
For all to see there was a star
How intent are we in seeking the new born King? The same King who came and died for our sins to set us free from the grasp of Satan. He has made it possible for us to be free from the chains of Satan and free in His kingdom. All we have to do is receive the FREE gift He has already purchased with His blood. He has paid it all, we must say ‘YES,’ receiving His gift and freedom is ours, then we can, as the wise men, rejoice with exceedingly great joy.
Lord, You are worthy of all Glory and Honor. I will lift my voice in praise to You every day. As the Psalmist says kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all judges of the earth, young men as well as young women, old and young together. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted. His majesty covers heaven and earth. He has raised up a horn for His people, resulting in praise to all His faithful ones, to the Israelites, the people close to Him. Hallelujah!  Lord, I will praise You every day for all You have done in my life; for Your Son’s free gift. Lord, I will share Your gospel with others today and every day until Christ returns. I pray all this in Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (Mt 2:7–12). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (Mt 2:8). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 Biblical Studies Press. (2005). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Is 9:6–7). Biblical Studies Press.
 Logos Hymnal. (1995). (1st edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Ps 148:11–14). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
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