Three Kings or the Wise Men are vital part of the Nativity scenes and birth of Christ reenacted in churches on Christmas. They traveled for miles to see baby Jesus and brought him the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Known as the Magi (scholars, priests or astrologers), these three men were first mentioned in the New Testament as the 'wise men from the East'. They followed the divine star that led them to the child Jesus to worship the Messiah and brought gifts for him. Since, these men were from different cultures and bore rich gifts that were laden on many camels, they caused quite a stir in Jerusalem and were highly regarded. They came inquiring about the newborn 'King of the Jews'. What made their arrival even stranger was that coming of the foreign kings and gentiles bearing gifts of gold and frankincense for the promised Messiah was foretold in the scriptures.
Accord to the legend, there were three Magi and they were so talked
about that they attracted the attention of King Herod too. Herod the
Great was one of the kings sharing a family name of 'Herod' who held the
throne at the time of Jesus's birth. He was evil, tyrannical and
delighted in torturing his Jewish subjects. He was very suspicious and
levied heavy taxes on his people. When he came to know that some
distinguished visitors have entered his kingdom, he consulted his
priests to know more about the ancient prophecy that predicted the birth
of Christ in Bethlehem and he was to be the future ruler of Israel.
Then, he invited Magi to his court and told them that the Messiah was
born in the city of Bethlehem and asked them to find the child and
inform his whereabouts to the king so he could also go and worship the
The Magi who were being led by the divine star followed Herod's
directions and the Christmas Star and reached Bethlehem. There, they
found Virgin Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus in a lowly stable. They
worshipped the Child and gave Him the gifts of gold, frankincense and
myrrh. As they fell asleep that night, they were warned in the dream not
to go back to Jerusalem and King Herod. Similarly, Joseph and Mary were
asked to leave Bethlehem immediately with the Holy Child until Herod
dies. Thus, Magi took a different route to their homes and Joseph and
Mary fled to Egypt with the baby before Herod realized that Magi had
given him a slip and ordered all the children under two to be put to
Read legend of the Magi, Christmas story of the Three Kings, one of the wise men Nativity stories here.