The wise men are interesting in nature. They appear in this story, unannounced - uninvited - come and do their thing - and are never mentioned again. This morning, I want to get to know them better, and see what we can learn from them.
We know from other sources that the Magi had existed for hundreds of years before the time of Christ. They had their own religionfl;’ l., their own priesthood, their own writings. It appears from the book of Daniel that they existed in his day and it even seems that Daniel was appointed head over the cast of the Magi in the time of King Darius. That fact will help us in a minute.
Who were the Magi? They were the professors and philosophers of their day. They were brilliant and highly educated scholars who were trained in medicine, history, religion, prophecy, astronomy and astrology.
The important fact for us to know is that they were highly influential in Persia. They were in fact advisors to the king. While they were not kings, it would not be wrong to call them king-makers because they functioned as political advisors to the Persian rulers.
Most of our pictures of the Magi show three guys dressed like cone-heads riding three camels across the deserts. Nothing could be farther from reality. There is no way under heaven the Magi traveled 1,000 miles across the desert by themselves. The whole notion is ludicrous. In those days, the only way you could travel in the desert was in a large caravan.
The Magi would have swept into Jerusalem with pomp and circumstance and covered with the dust of a thousand miles. At a minimum they would have brought with them a full military escort along with their servants. The total party could have amounted to more than 300 men. No wonder all of Jerusalem was buzzing. And they came with a question.
Where is the one who is born King.