Have you ever thought about this? The Magi did not know God yet they still followed the star. Isn’t that an amazing thought? God uses His creation in all kinds of ways to bring the lost sheep (those who don’t believe in Him or don’t know of Him) back into the fold. His love is for everyone, not just those who already believe.
Let’s take a look at these Magi. Western tradition teaches 3 Magi came to see Jesus. There were probably more because the Magi were usually grouped in twelves. The reason for just 3 seems to be the gifts they brought…gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts are significant because of what they represent. Gold is often associated with holiness and kingship. Frankincense is an aromatic resin used to make perfumes and incense and would have been used in Worship of the time, particularly during prayer. It is a symbol of deity. It characterized kingly virtue. Myrrh is also an aromatic resin obtained from a thorn tree. It was considered ‘liquid gold’ at the time of Christ and often was priced higher than the solid. It was also used in Temple worship and for embalming. It traditionally represents death and suffering. There is no symbolism that is actually stated in the Bible for these 3 gifts, but remember God uses His creation to teach us of Him.
There is tradition that the Magi represent different countries. The Encyclopedia Britannica (“Magi (biblical figures) – Encyclopedia Britannica”. Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-07-04.) tells us that Melchoir was a Persian scholar, Caspar an Indian scholar, and Balthazar an Arabian scholar. It’s interesting to look at the impact of these countries on the people of the Bible, and yes, even current events. Persia is modern Iran. Both the books of Esther and Daniel are set in this area. Arabia in the Bible is modern Saudi Arabia. When Moses led the Israelites from Egypt they wandered for 40 years in the desserts of Arabia. India, as part of Biblical history, is directly mentioned in the Book of Esther. There may be some relevance in the claim that Ham, the son of Noah may have settled in Cush which is part of India. The Northeastern parts of India are so close to Afghanistan that familial relationships could easily have been formed. Once again, God can and will use His creation to bring ALL of His people back.
No matter where the Magi were from, how many there were and what the gifts signified they were part of the early life of Jesus. I do not believe they were present at the birth because there is no mention of them until they visited the home of Mary and Joseph and were instrumental in the family’s move to Egypt. They were real people, with real lives, learning more about the real Creator of the Universe and His Son.
Know ye that the Lord, He is God. It is He who made us, and not we ourselves,we are the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3
He wants a love relationship with every person in His creation!!!