Today’s devotional: pondering the mystery of the Three Wise Men

Today’s devotional doesn’t come from a traditional devotional, but from Mart De Haan’s Been Thinking About blog. Christmas is on all of our minds this week, and his latest post ponders one of the more intriguing parts of the Christmas story—the three Wise Men:

The wonder of the magi may be worth thinking about. The mystery surrounding them seems to be by design.

For openers, why is Matthew the only one of 4 Gospel accounts that mentions them?

If they came “from the east” and saw a star “in the east” why would they travel west to Bethlehem? Who were these “wise men?” Were they pagan “star gazers,” “magicians,” or “priests?

Was the star they followed a real star, an alignment of planets, an angelic star, or some other miraculous sign?

Could “the star” have appeared to them 2 years prior to Jesus’ birth so that they could have arrived while Jesus was still “in the manger”?

Read the complete post at Been Thinking About.

The Wise Men’s appearance in Christmas story is well-known and referenced in countless Christmas songs and sermons. But sometimes stepping back and asking fresh questions about even the most familiar elements of the story can provide an interesting new perspective on the whole.

Are there other elements of the Christmas story that, despite their familiarity, remain particularly mysterious?

3 Responses to “Today’s devotional: pondering the mystery of the Three Wise Men”

  • Jessica says:

    The entire Christmas story, when read in little chunks of information and allowed to sink in, contains so much information and so many questions. Did Zechhariah communicate what had happened to him to others? Was Mary afraid of being stoned? How did the sheep respond to the angel and then angels? We picture the story so beautifully in our songs and stories, yet it is really a humbling and earthy thing. Amazing!

  • Jim says:

    I have always heard that Matthew was written to the Jews, and so it includes the magi and the killing of the children in Bethlehem. The story of the magi not only teaches its Jewish readers that Gentiles were to be included in worship of the Christ, but that there was a reason the children of Bethlehem were butchered. The killings only made sense if you knew about the magi.

    I always thought God operated on a “need to know” basis, but sometimes he tells us more out of His mercy. Someone somewhere needed to know about the magi – who knows, perhaps it was only a few people!

  • julie says:

    if you go on youtube, someone has posted the film “the star of bethlehem” in pieces:

    the website for the film is if you go there, all the footnoted facts are under “resources”