by: Heather Cook
The wise men were magi. Their study of the stars led them to Judea to find and worship Jesus, the newborn King. Before they found Jesus, though, the wise men met King Herod. God had promised the Jewish people a new king—one who would save them from their enemies.
King Herod was not that king. Imagine how he felt when he heard about a new king in town. The wise men asked him, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” (Matt. 2:2) The wise men unintentionally challenged Herod’s reign. Not only was Herod not a full Jew, he was not a descendant of King David. Herod was deeply disturbed by the news that this child had the birthright of being king.
As Herod’s fury grew, he gathered his chief priests and scribes to determine where Jesus had been born. Then he lied to the wise men: “When you find Him, report back to me so that I too can go and worship Him” (Matt. 2:8). What deceitfulness! The truth was, Herod did not want to worship Jesus at all; he wanted to kill Him!
The wise men continued on their journey and found Jesus. Jesus may have been about two years old when the magi found Him and worshiped Him. The Bible does not say how many magi worshiped Jesus, although three are often depicted because of their three gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. God warned the wise men in a dream to avoid Herod, so they returned home by another route.
The wise men came to worship Jesus as King. Jesus is the King who will rule forever, as God promised to King David in 2 Samuel 7. Jesus is the true King who is worthy of all our worship.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
•Babies and Toddlers
Jesus was born.
The wise men followed a star to get to Jesus.
The wise men worshiped Jesus.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
oWhy was Jesus born? Jesus was born to rescue us.
oThe wise men worshiped Jesus.
Why was Jesus born? Jesus was born to rescue us from sin.
The wise men worshiped Jesus as King.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE