The present day America Christmas Culture, with 25 days of shopping on the TV, and full parking lots at stores, and movies of red-nosed reindeers, is very much lacking the message of Jesus’s birth.
Who were the Magi?
Wise men, astrologers, probably not really kings although quite wealthy, who left their homes from the far east (likely Persia) to make a very long journey to visit Jesus and give him gifts. This trip would have taken months by camel, and they probably brought a caravan of servants with them. They saw the unusual light in the sky at are referred to as “His star” that moved and pointed the way for them to Bethleham. When they do see the child, they fall down and worship, despite not being of the Jewish faith (astrologers).
Where did they come from?
After the star, likely between 3 months to 2 years after Jesus’ birth, since Herod ordered all boys under 2 be killed. They did not come the night of Jesus’s birth, most likely, despite how we depict it in our culture. Jesus was born in a cave used for sheltering animals, and shepherds came that night. In Matt 2:11 the verbiage for where Jesus was changes to “in the home” and that is where the Magi visit him. Jesus is referred to as a “child” as well, instead of a new born infant.
What did they bring?
Gold – royalty, Jesus being the new “king of kings”, used by Jesus family to travel later to Egypt, to stay safe from Herods persecution.
Frankensceince – used by priests, this to signify Jesus as the great high priest
Myrrh – a spice used for burial, to foreshadow Christ’s sacrifice on the cross
Today, wise men still worship Jesus Christ.