Bible Activity/Discussion, Origins

Did three wise men really visit Jesus?

The birth of Christ is wrapped up in folklore and tradition (man’s) and marketed to the world as Christmas. The nativity scene takes the center of attention in window displays, schools and offices, often misleading believers.

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The Nativity Scene Origin

The first nativity scene was created in 1223 in Greccio, central Italy by Saint Francis of Assisi. It is said to represent the true “spirit” of Christmas. However, many depictions of Jesus’s birth are filled with inaccuracies and it conflicts with the true Biblical account. We often see the little family, three wise men, sometimes a shepherd or two, a few animals, huddled around a newborn, the scene illuminated by the light of a lone star. Pretty wonderful and harmonic, right? But this is most unlikely.

Why can’t we be satisfied with the Biblical account? The true account?

The visiting Wise MenΒ 

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The wise men came from the east to see the infant after following a star (Matthew 2:2). Magi or wise men originally referred to a class of priests from Persia. They were said to be students of astrology, hence why they noticed the strange star, to begin with, and followed it.

It’s unclear how many wise men were there as the Bible doesn’t speculate, but because they brought three gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11) –Β  it’s assumed that it was three wise men. It could’ve been two wise men bringing those gifts. It could’ve been as much as five, six or even ten wise men.

Manger or house?

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We’re told that the wise men visited Jesus in the stable while He was in a manger. Luke 2:8-20 shows that the shepherds who were watching over their flock in the field by night were given the news of Jesus’s birth by angels and they visited Jesus as He lay in a manger. It’s most likely that they saw the newborn Savoir before the Magi. And it’s no coincidence that the angels broke the news to the shepherds first, for it foreshadowed Christ as the good Shepherd.

In Matthew 2:11, by the time the wise men arrive, Mary and Joseph are not in a stable, but in a house. It’s likely that it took the wise men, days, months or even a few years to arrive on the scene.

The gifts the Wise Men brought.

The Magi brought three significant gifts that bore spiritual meanings.Β 

Gold recognizes Jesus as the King of Kings and the great High Priest. The Magi acknowledged that they were in the presence of a King. Gold was highly valued by kings as we see with Solomon in 2 Chronicles 9:20. Gold was also woven into the fabric of the high priest (Exodus 28).Β 

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Frankincense recognizes Him as the perfect Lamb sacrifice and it has a wonderful fragrance. It was used for making incense (Exodus 30:34), was an ingredient in sacrifices (Leviticus 2:1-2) and it was also an ingredient in perfumes (Song of Solomon 3:6; 4:14).

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Myrrh recognizes His death and resurrection. It was first mentioned in Genesis 37:25 where it was carried by camels in a caravan. It was used for burial embalming (John 19:39), as an ingredient in anointing oil (Exodus 30:23-25) and as a perfume (Song of Solomon 1:13; 3:6; 4:6, 14; 5:1, 5, 13). It was also used in Jesus’ burial (John 19:39).

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The frankincense and myrrh trees are cut and bruised to bleed out the resin to use for healing, perfumes, incense, and anointing. Do you see the spiritual symbolism when it comes to Christ, Who suffered and shed His blood for humanity? By His stripes, we’re healed!

In conclusion

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Matthew is the only Gospel writer that mentions the wise men visiting Christ after His birth. The account states that after Jesus’s birth, the wise men visit King Herod to inquire about Jesus’s actual location. However, Herod doesn’t have a clue though he’s troubled, and seeks the services of the wise men to locate the newborn Savior under the guise of wanting to worship Him. After leaving Jerusalem, the wise men see a star, follow it, and comes to worship the King of Kings in a house and not in a stable.

The Magi read and believed God’s Word, they sought Jesus, recognized His worth, and humbled themselves before Him in worship. We should come into God’s house with such reverence when we’re in His presence.

This is the account that is given in Matthew 2:1-12. The Bible doesn’t mention how many Magi (even if there was really 3) so we shouldn’t take away or add to the Word.

***GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)



30 thoughts on “Did three wise men really visit Jesus?”

  1. Enjoyed your post just in time for Christmas – and once heard someone say there could have been 18 to 20 wise men from different directions – and you are so right – some of them when Jesus was a toddler –
    And to add one more tidbit – they say the gold that was brought was also for practical use for the family.

    Anyhow – well done with a comprehensive post that was not too long –
    But covered good stuff

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well the post was perfect! Seriously – and you were comprehensive and did make it clear there were many.
        And so many other tidbits – and all glory to god indeed – all for him and in him and through his strength while he leads and feeds – hope
        You have a great day

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It was a very good day – and I thought of you tonight when I heard a song that said “all eyes are on your good” –
        And said a little prayer for you (and Tammy – for some reason I think of you two together cos I met you both at the same time in blogland)
        Anyhow –
        It is a line from a Toby Mac song and I love it (called lose my soul) and it reminded me of you today!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen! No it was three wise men. I remembered reading a post of cross where this truth was revealed. They said that it could have been many *a large group* of them and that Jesus wasn’t a babe when they visited him. He was already a toddler. I love the breakdown and symbolisms behind each gift. God bless and continue to use you to bring other’s to the truth that continues to set humanity free in Jesus name. Amen! ❀ blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And by the way, after a lifetime of believing that Jesus was born in a stable, I found out this Christmas that there is no mention of a stable in any of the accounts! There is only the manger, which could have been in a courtyard or against the outside of a stable. We don’t know. And since Jesus’ birth was probably around April, an outdoor manger wouldn’t have been too cold.

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  4. I, too, agree that the amount of astrologers are unknown, since the Bible does not say. According toΒ A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew,Β the expression β€œwise men” that different Bible translations use translate to β€œa Greek noun which originally referred to Persian priests who were experts in astrology.” Astrology is “the divination of the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects.” Deuteronomy 18:10-12 states that “there should not be found in anyone who […] employs divination. For whoever does these things is detestable to Jehovah.” So these men, as well as this mysterious star, have no relation to God. I also agree that by the time the astrologers reached Jesus that he was, as Matthew 2:11 says, a “young child.” What is your opinion on the date in which Jesus was born? The Bible does not mention December 25th, and in Bethlehem it is cold and rainy during that time. It would be highly unlikely for Shepard’s to be out. Christmas as a whole has many pagan origins. It is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, but the celebration of birthdays is pagan & early Christians did not partake. This is why I choose not to celebrate the holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by, read and comment. Thank you. πŸ’™

      Yes, that’s correct where it concerns the Perisan priests and astrology. I read up on Persia in connection to a prophesy in Daniel concerning the Messiah, but that’s for another time. I don’t even like thinking of the date on which Jesus was born. Some say April, or the ending of September or the beginning of October. I don’t dwell on it since it’s not recorded in the Bible and that’s why Dec 25th is highly unlikely. It’s amazing how the world partake in a lot of paganism eccentricies because man told us to. I’ve stopped celebrating this holiday and all other man-made holidays for that matter and I don’t miss anything.

      Liked by 1 person

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