Our After Christmas Specials

I thought that since Christmas is over, we might consider some “After Christmas Specials.” Let’s begin with a scripture reading from Matthew 2:9-11 (NKJV):

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. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 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.


The day after Thanksgiving Day, is known as the busiest shopping day of the year. A few years ago, British psychologist David Lewis reported that shopping is hazardous to men’s health. He tested volunteers (22-79 years old) by sending them out Christmas shopping. He recorded blood pressure rates that “you’d expect to see in a fighter pilot going into combat.” According to this same test, only one in four women showed any significant signs of stress from shopping – just one of many gender differences.


Someone asked, “What would have happened if there had been Three Wise Women instead of Three Wise Men?” The answer is: They would have asked directions immediately upon commencing their trip, which would have allowed them to arrive on time; they would have helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole and brought cute little outfits that baby Jesus could have worn on his trip home.


As it happened, they were wise men (not wise women) – and while we think of these men as part of the story, they were not present at the birth of Jesus. They didn’t arrive on the scene till well over a year later, possibly as much as two years after the birth.


One of the questions we have asked through the years is, “WHO were the Wise Men?” Traditionally some scholars have said that they were Pagan astronomers. In addition, we have come up with three wise men because there were three gifts for Jesus in their story. Eventually the wise men were even named.


It is more likely that these wise men were Jews from Babylon. It is likely that they were descended from those who did not return from Captivity. In fact, Babylon was the center of Jewish study for many years. The Jews have two Talmuds (commentaries on the Torah). One is the Babylonian Talmud, the other is the Jerusalem Talmud. Most Jewish scholars hold to the Babylonian Talmud as more authoritative.


One of the reasons that some scholars believe these wise men were Jews from Babylon is because they followed the scriptures to Bethlehem. Do you remember the prophecy in Micah 5:2 (NKJV)?

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”


Even Herod went to the scriptures through the Jewish religious leaders to find the place of the birth of the Messiah in Matthew 2. He pretended to want to worship the newborn “King of the Jews.” In reality, he wanted to kill Jesus.


In addition, they followed the STAR to the house. Why was that? It was more than an astronomical phenomenon. They followed the star and, again, they followed the scriptures. Notice Numbers 24:17 (NKJV):

17 “I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,
And batter the brow of Moab,
And destroy all the sons of tumult.


They brought three gifts to Jesus and His parents. First, there was gold. Gold represents wealth and royalty. We can also think about the sovereignty of God in relationship to the gold. Frankincense was the second gift. This was a special element of the incense blend to be used in the Temple worship. It represents holiness and the priesthood. Not only was Jesus God and King, He is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10). Third was the Myrrh. Myrrh was used in anointing and in embalming dead bodies. This gift reveals the death for which Jesus was destined. Jesus really was born to die.


It is possible that the wise men brought these gifts, not only as symbols, the gifts could have had a practical application. They may have been used to finance the family’s escape to Egypt. This is another fulfillment of Scripture. Hosea 11:1 (NKJV) reads:

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.


Wise men searched for Jesus – and found him. They gave him their best. People of our founding generations were exceedingly wise. They put their focus on Jesus and built their lives on Him. They intended to build a nation on Him and His teachings. Notice these statements:

The Founders of Yale stated on November 11, 1701:

Every student shall consider the main end of his study to wit to know God in Jesus Christ and answerably to lead a Godly, sober life.[1]


Samuel Adams

I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world…. that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is the Prince of Peace.[2]


Have you searched for him?

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13


If you have found him, what have you given? He is not interested in monetary gifts, He is interested in YOU. Have you presented yourself as a living sacrifice? Have you conformed to Him rather than the world as in Romans 12:1-2?


The wise men gave their best in their gifts. The best we can do is give ourselves. He gave His best, He gave Himself to and for us.


Keep The Light of Giving God Our Best Burning!

[1] William J. Federer, American Quotations 2013, p. 361.

[2] Ibid., p. 422.