Read or tell the story from the gospel of Matthew 2:1-12.
The Wise Men Video tells this story directly from the Word of God, illustrating it with felt figures.
Ideas for discussion
- How did the wise men know that the Lord was going to be born? (One of the prophecies of the Lord’s birth said that a star would appear, so they were looking for that sign.)
- The wise men asked King Herod, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” How did King Herod react? (He was worried and consulted with his advisers. He asked the wise men to let him know when they found the child. He pretended that he wanted to go worship Him, too.)
- What did the wise men do when the star led them to the young Child? (They fell down and worshiped Him. Then they gave Him gold, frankincense and myrrh.)
- Why were the wise men warned to go home another way? (Herod wanted to hurt the Lord.)
- What was the star that led the wise men to the Lord? (It was a group of angels in heaven that appeared as a star to the wisemen. Their spiritual eyes were opened so that they could see this bright light and follow it.)
- What is your favorite part of this story?
- How does the story of the wise men show us how we can come to worship the Lord in our lives?
Further ideas for discussion
What are some of the key differences between the story of the Lord’s birth as told in the gospel of Matthew and in the gospel of Luke?
- In the gospel of Matthew, the story is told from Joseph’s point of view. In Luke, the story is told from Mary’s perspective.
- Angels appear in the story in Luke but come in a dream to Joseph and the wise men in the gospel of Matthew.
- Herod is a key part of the story in Matthew but is only mentioned briefly in Luke 2 (“in the days of Herod the king”).
- Joseph and the wise men receive commands in the gospel of Matthew. The angels did not give orders to anyone in the gospel of Luke. The angel Gabriel told of events that would happen (Zacharias and Mary) or that had happened (the shepherds).
- In “The Christmas Story in the Gospel of Matthew” Peter Buss, Sr. explains that the two stories appeal to us in different ways and tell how the Lord God Jesus Christ is born into our will and understanding. “The story in Matthew tells how the Lord is born into the understanding, and Luke tells how He touches our hearts.
Read more about the story of the wise men
- “The Journey of the Wise Men” by Kurt Horigan Asplundh (ages 4-10)
A story for young children with color illustrations by Leah Acton Smith.
- “The Star of Bethlehem” by Patrick A. Rose (ages 7-14)
The Lord came down to earth to help us and show us the way to heaven. This is why the wise men saw a beautiful star in the sky when the Lord was born. It was a sign that the Lord had come to show people the direction they should go.
- “The Lord’s Birth” by David Lindrooth (ages 18 and up)
The Lord was born on earth so that we could become more aware of His presence in our lives.
- “The Christmas Story in the Gospel of Matthew” by Peter M. Buss, Sr. (ages 18 and up)
Selections from this article help us explore the meaning of the story of the wise men and Herod.
Projects and activities for various ages
- Star Out of Jacob by Robert G. Glenn
Beautiful pen and ink illustration of the wise men seeing the star.
- Three Wise Men Coloring Page by Josephine Ellis (ages 7-14)
Shows the wise men riding camels as they make the long journey in search of the Lord.
- The Wise Men Worship the Lord (ages 7-14)
A lovely picture of the wise men presenting their gifts to the Lord. One option would be to cut around the scene and mount it on a dark piece of paper.
- The Wisemen Rejoice to See the Star by Robert G. Glenn
An intricate pen and ink illustration of the wisemen seeing the Star.
- Three Kings from the East Coloring Page by Lisa S. Buss (ages 7-14)
An illustration showing the wise men as they follow the bright star.
- Follow the Star Dramatization (ages 3-6)
Set up a nativity scene in a hidden place and let little children follow the Star until they find the baby Lord with Mary and Joseph.
- Bethlehem Lay Sleeping Song Video (ages 2-10)
A lovely overview of key parts of the Christmas story.
- Wise Men Diorama (ages 7-14)
Color the wise men, the camels, and the background scene of Bethlehem and then assemble the diorama to show the wise men looking at the star.
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