The aristocratic travellers "from the East" who followed a miraculous guiding star to Bethlehem, where they paid honor to the baby Jesus as King of the Jews, according to Christian belief (Matthew 2:1-12).
They were probably Persian nobles who had heard stories of the infant Jesus' life from Christians in their homeland. Since then, many have wondered about these legends, including several world-famous artists. Here are the details of how they searched for Jesus.
Around 300 BC, an artist named Apelles created one of the first ever paintings, which is still visible today. It showed the three kings visiting Jerusalem with their retinue and paying homage to the young Jesus, who was being cared for by Mary and Joseph in a house on the Hill of Evil Counsel. The painting is preserved in the Vatican Museum.
In 1553, Michelangelo painted the same scene, but instead of the three kings, he gave us a representation of Christianity's conversion of the Roman Empire. In this version of the story, the two other men are being brought before Pope Julius II, who is sitting on his throne with his head covered in red robes. They have been sent by the Syrian king to seek permission to build a church on land he owns in Palestine. The pope refuses, but offers them money instead.
The biblical Magi (/'meIdZaI/or/'maedZaI/; singular: magus), also known as the (Three) Wise Men or (Three) Kings, were notable foreigners in the Gospel of Matthew and Christian tradition. They are reported to have come to see Jesus after his birth with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Their visit has been a subject of interest and speculation by people throughout history.
They are mentioned for the first time in Matthew 2:11-12: "Then she brought forth her son and showed him to me, and he was blessed by me, and his name is John." The word "then" connects this story with that of the annunciation. It means "when," not "if" or "when it is convenient." Thus the wise men did not wait for the annunciation to happen, but went at once to see Jesus when he was born. It is unlikely that they traveled through Asia Minor to reach Jerusalem before the end of December, since Herod the Great died in March 4 B.C. and Jesus was born around January 6, so the trip took about three months to complete.
The wise men may have come from far away because Jesus was considered a great prophet and people wanted to see him for themselves. Or they may have been priests or rulers from one of the kingdoms along the eastern edge of the Roman Empire who had heard about Jesus' deeds and came to worship him.
Men of wisdom The visitors are referred to as "Magi" (wise men) by Matthew, and they might have been astrologers following the sign of a specific star in the sky. They were most likely from Persia. The Magi might have arrived weeks or even months after the shepherds, when Mary and Joseph had secured lodging in a dwelling (verse 11). The arrival of the Magi is mentioned for two reasons: first, to tell about the visit, and second, to ask questions about the nature of Jesus' birth.
Both the Old Testament and the New testify that all who are born are sinners. Since God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, we can know with certainty that there is no sin too great for him to forgive. He came to seek and to save those who will trust in him, including us poor sinful women who need forgiveness.
Jesus was born on Christmas Day, which means that he was born during the winter season. So the Magi would have seen lots of people around them who were living in poverty. They would have noticed that not only babies but also young children were being taken care of by their parents. These families could not afford gifts for their children; therefore, the Magi went to Herod's court where all kinds of gifts were displayed. Seeing all these rich things, the minds of the Magi were opened, and they realized that this child was different from others. So they asked questions about him until they found out that he was the Christ, the Savior of the world.