Who Were The Wise Men Really?

I have always loved Nativity Scenes. There is just something so wondrous and even mysterious them – all of them. At my house, we have several – a small porcelin one that fits on an end table; a cheap plastic one that has been played with (and chewed on) by small children; and, of course, the mantle-piece set, which has intricately-painted figureines. Over the years, that particular set has suffered a few casulaties – most recently, Joseph tumbled from the stable and shattered into tiny pieces. But no matter – the show must go on. These days, a shepherd stands in for Joseph beside the manger . . . and somehow, the majesty and mystery of theIncarnation remains.


It is mysterious, you know. I don’t know if you have taken time to ponder it lately – to sit and stare at the pieces in a good nativity set – but it is absolutely mind-boggling how it all came together. That’s why some of the best Christmas songs ever written convey a sense of wonder and marvel and . . . awe. Think about the lyrics to What Child is This?; O Little Town of Bethlehem ; O Come Emmanuel; Mary Did You? Each one, in my opinion, captures the proper tone of the story – the feeling that this is something that’s just too big for us to understand . . . even though we try to shrink it into nativity-sized bites.

Case in point – I ran across this old sermon (dated 1978) by John McArthur. It is a thorough and interesting look at three of the most misunderstood figures in the Nativity Set – the three Wise Men. So much that we assume about these men comes from tradition or legend, but their real story, and their real purpose for arriving in Bethelehm – (not on Jesus’ birthday, but MUCH, MUCH later) – is so much richer and more significant than we acknowledge. These men were king-makers – and their arrival at lodging of Baby Jesus is more than just a neat picture of giving Christmas gifts. It is a profound picture of a God who takes care of all of the details . . . even the ones you might not have thought of!

I hope you will take some time to click this link. Once you do, you can read the entire sermon . . . or listen to it.


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One Response to Who Were The Wise Men Really?

  1. Mmb007 says:

    Sometimes we forget how good God is at pulling together people and resources to make his plan work out for our good. We are looking through tiny lenses and cannot grasp the entire breadth of his plan. If only we could see more and I think that is when we have to put on the God glasses and hold His hand.

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