King Herod was the reigning ruler over Judea at the time of Jesus’ birth. He was very angry to hear the news of the newborn king of the Jews and immediately wanted to meet with the wise men that were searching for the “star.” (In Babylon, Jews believed that a sign from heaven, the ‘star,’ would foretell the birth of a new Jewish king.) This star was guiding them to the child who would be the shepherd for all of Israel’s people. At their meeting, King Herod asked them to search for the child, then return back to him, and tell him where the child was so that he could worship him as well.
The wise men then continued their journey, following the star until it led them to where the child was. They were immediately filled with joy, and entered the house! They saw the child with His mother, Mary, and immediately bowed down to worship Him. Can you imagine witnessing with your own eyes the Savior of the world as a child?
After giving gifts to the child, the wise men left, but instead of returning to King Herod as he told them, they returned home by another route because God had warned them in a dream of King Herod’s plan to kill the child.
One night an angel appeared before Joseph in a dream, telling him to take his wife, Mary, and the child to Egypt so that they could escape King Herod’s plans of searching for the child to kill Him.
Wow! What a challenging time for Joseph and Mary with their newborn child, our Lord and Savior! They understood the significance of their son’s birth. They knew what He meant to the world and the joy that He alone would bring! He had come to rescue us, to save us, to heal us, and to make mankind right in the eyes of God. That was cause for great joy!