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ON CHRISTIANITY

By BILLY GRAHAM

This article was published December 27, 2013 at 2:05 a.m.

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Who were the so-called “wise men” who came to worship Jesus when He was born? The Bible doesn’t seem to say much about them.

  • J.K.

DEAR J.K.: You’re right; the Bible doesn’t tell us much about the “wise men” (or “magi”) who came seeking the newborn king. It doesn’t even tell us how many there were; tradition says there were three of them, since they brought three gifts, but there may have been more. In reality, it doesn’t matter.

What is clear is that they were from a country in the east (probably Persia or Babylonia) and had traveled a great distance to seek the child. (You can read about them in Matthew 2.) Although they were probably Gentiles, they may have had contact with Jews who had settled in their home country centuries before, and therefore they would have known of God’s promise to send the Messiah into the world. When God sent a special star in the heavens, they knew the prophecy was being fulfilled, and they undertook their journey to find Him.

Why are they important? They are important first of all because they tell us that Jesus Christ came into the world for all kinds of people - regardless of our wealth or social standing or ethnic or racial background. He came for the wise men; He came for the humble shepherds - and He came for you.

But the wise men also are important because they are an example to us. They endured danger and hardship and scorn to find Christ, and so should we. And when they found Him, they worshipped Him and gave Him their treasures, and so should we. Jesus’ promise is true: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org

MovieStyle, Pages 30 on 12/27/2013

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