2 – The Visit of the Wise Men

Matthew 2:1–12

Some men come to visit Jesus

1 Jesus was born in a town called Bethlehem, in Judea. King Herod ruled Judea at that time. After Jesus was born, some wise men came to Jerusalem from a country in the east. 2 When they arrived there, they asked people, ‘Where is the baby who has been born as the king of the Jews? We saw his special star when it first appeared in the sky. So now we have come here to worship him.’

2:1This King Herod was called Herod the Great. He was king in Judea during the years from 37 BC to 4 BC. Judea was a region of Israel.

3 When King Herod heard what the men said, he was very upset. All the people in Jerusalem were afraid too. 4 Then Herod asked all the leaders of the priests and the teachers of God's Law to meet with him. He asked them, ‘Where will God's Messiah be born?’ 5 They replied, ‘The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem in Judea. This is what the prophet wrote about it:

6 “People who live in Bethlehem,

your town is a very important town in Judea.

A person born in your town will become a leader of my people Israel.

He will lead my people like a shepherd leads his sheep.” ’

7 Then Herod secretly told the wise men to come to meet with him. They told him the time that the star had appeared. 8 Herod sent the men to Bethlehem. He said to them, ‘Go and look everywhere for this child. When you find him, come back here and tell me where he is. Then I can also go and worship him.’

9-10 After the men had heard the king, they left to go to Bethlehem. They could see the same star that they had seen before. They were very happy when they saw the star. It moved along in front of them. Then it stopped above the place where the child was staying. 11 The men went into the house and they saw the child. He was with Mary, his mother. They went down on their knees in front of the child and they worshipped him. Then they opened their bags. They took out valuable gifts and they gave them to the child. The gifts were gold, incense called frankincense, and also myrrh. 12 After that, God said to them in a dream, ‘Do not go back to see Herod again.’ So the men followed a different road to return to their own country.

2:11Gold is a very valuable metal. People would give gold to a king.

Matthew 2:1-12 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Did you Know?

  • Herod was a king in Israel. He later tried to kill Jesus.
  • ‘Wise men’ gave advice to kings.
  • ‘Messiah’ is another word for ‘Christ’, God’s promised king.
  • A prophet brings a word from God to the people.
  • Jesus was about two years old when the wise men came to Bethlehem.

The Meaning of the Story

After Jesus birth, the family stayed in Bethlehem. While they were there, they received some surprising visitors. From far away, ‘wise men’ came to Bethlehem.

Two things led these wise men to Jesus. First, they saw a special star in the sky. They believed that a special star in the sky showed that an important king had been born.

The second thing that led them to this king was the Bible. Many years before, God had spoken through a prophet. The prophet said that one day a great leader would be born in Bethlehem. Now this leader had come. The wise men believed what God had said by his prophet.

They came to a house in Bethlehem. There they found Joseph and Mary and the young child, Jesus. They knew that Jesus was this king.

Then they fell on the ground and worshipped him because they knew he was someone much greater than they were.

Who is Jesus?

When the wise men came to Bethlehem, Jesus did not look like a king. But they knew God had sent Jesus to rule, because he had put a star in the sky to tell people about his birth. God had spoken through a prophet to announce he would be born in Bethlehem. The wise men worshipped him, because they knew he was a king greater than any other king.

Thinking about the Story

  1. What led the wise men to Jerusalem?
  2. Why were the wise men so happy?
  3. Why did the wise men worship Jesus?
  4. Why did the wise men not return to Jerusalem?