“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” – Matthew 2:1-3
Signs of Christmas are appearing all over town and it has put me in the mood to write about the Birth of Christ. I titled this article “The Five Kings of Christmas” because in the Biblical account of the birth of Christ there was one in Israel who bore the title of “king”; His name was Herod. In addition there were “wise men” from the east, referred to in song and tradition as 3 kings. Then of course, there was He who was born “King of the Jews” bringing our total to five. It is interesting to note and compare several things about these five kings of Christmas.
King Herod was troubled by the news that One had been born King. His throne was threatened, and in a brutal move to kill this opponent and cling to power he had children two years old and younger killed. It seems ludicrous that he would fear an infant so much. However, I still marvel today at those who feel threatened by Jesus. Yes, He is the rightful king of your life and you ought to yield the throne of your heart to Him, and if you do you will find Him a wonderful and gracious Lord.
“We Three Kings” is one of my favorite Christmas hymns but it is somewhat misleading. The Bible never calls them kings nor does it say that there were three. So much for my title. Actually, they were “wise men” what we might consider scholars, students of the sciences. As they studied the prophecies of the Messiah and studied the heavens, they were able to deduce the meaning of the strange star that appeared.
The contrasting response of these men at the first Christmas resembles the response of men today. The wise men recognized the identity of the babe and came to worship Him. Herod and others were troubled and held tight to their little kingdoms refusing to surrender the throne of their life to the new born King. Had you been there, which group would you have been in?