Some time after Jesus was born, wise men journeyed to Jerusalem. They had carefully studied the stars and learned that a King had been born in that region. They stopped at King Herod's palace. "Where is this newborn King?" asked King Herod. "We have seen His star and know that He is to be King of the Jews. We want to worship Him." But King Herod didn't like this news, for he was the king of the Jews! He did not want to share his throne with anyone. And certainly not with a baby!
King Herod called in priests and scribes. "What do the prophets say about a King like this?" he demanded. "The Scriptures say a very special King will be born in the town of Bethlehem,"explained the learned men. "And He will be a shepherd to God's people."
Then King Herod called back the wise men and told, "And them to seek this King in Bethlehem. And when you find Him," said King Herod, "you must return and tell me where He is, so I too can worship Him." But the truth was, King Herod did not wish to worship Jesus—he only wanted to kill Him!
The wise men traveled to Bethlehem and found
Mary and Joseph and babyJesus. They worshiped Him and presented valuable gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. God warned the wise men not to return to Herod's palace and tell the evil king about baby Jesus. God also warned Joseph to flee from Bethlehem! King Herod planned to kill all the baby boys born there to get rid of Jesus, the newborn King.
And so Joseph quickly took Mary and Jesus to Egypt, and there they stayed until it was safe to return to their homeland again.
The Wise Seek Jesus, but Fools Reject Him
Even people in faraway Persia (which is Iran today) had been expecting a great King to beborn in Palestine. When the Persian wise men saw a special star in the sky, they believe that the King's birth had happened.
Evil people fear good. King Herod was such a person. He was not the lawful king or even a Jew. Herod had been given the Jewish throne by the Roman conquerors, so he was afraid when he heard that the true King had arrived.
Herod tried to kill the young Jesus, but God had plans Herod would never understand. No evil plan can separate us from the love of God.