By: O. Henry
You must all have heard about Jesus of Nazareth? Known better as Lord Jesus, this great man is believed to be a saviour of mankind who took birth about two thousand years ago as both God incarnate and a human being. Most of the details of his life are unclear, and much of what is known about his life comes from the four Gospels of the Bible. The Gospels tell the story of Jesus's miraculous birth in a stable in Bethlehem, and then of his life as an adult when he healed diseased people with his miraculous powers and preched his message of peace and love to the common people. Betrayed by one of his own followers, Jesus was put to death by Romans who hated him with all their heart. But he rose again three days after his death was taken as proof of his divinity. The date of Jesus's miraculous birth is celebrated each December 25th as Christmas Day.
During the time Lord Jesus was born, the land of his birth was ruled by a very mean king whose name was King Herod.
Soon after Jesus was born, three men were traveling on their camels; suddenly they noticed a very strange star in the night sky. They had heard about the prediction that someone great was to be born very soon; he would be the King of the Jews, the One who would save the world. The appearance of such a star meant that the King of the Jews had been born.
"We must tell about this to King Herod," the men consulted among themselves, "he should be happy to hear about this".
When King Herod heard about this he got very worried. He called a meeting with all the other important people in the country.
"Has this special baby been born?" He asked them "Has the King of the Jews been born?"
"Yes" replied the people "We believe so".
"Indeed?" asked King Herod. The birth of the King of the Jews was a bad news for him. If the child grew up, everyone would regard it as the king and Herod would not be respected anymore.
The people replied, "In Bethlehem. According to the ancient prophecy, a special person would come from there and take care of all the people."
Then King Herod called the wise men to a secret meeting and found out from them exactly where they saw the star. He then told them, "Go and find this child. As soon as you find him, come straight to me and tell me where he lives, so that I can go and worship him. Don't tell about it to anyone else, for the child may be harmed."
With these directions from the King, the wise men left to find the baby. They didn't know exactly where the baby was, but at night they again saw the star. The star seemed to be travelling eastwards.
"I have a feeling that the star is guiding us." said one of the three men. "If we follow it, we can find where the King of the Jews has been born".
So they followed the star in its journey eastwards. They followed the star until it hung right over the very place where Jesus lived.
When they had finally arrived they were very excited and happy. They found Jesus laying in his mother Mary's arms with his father Joseph standing beside. They bowed down and worshipped him.
Then they took out the gifts that they had brought for him and opened them. These were gold, frankincense and myrrh; very expensive gifts, the kind of which you would give to a King, not to a baby. Mary and Joseph thanked them for bringing the gifts for Jesus. Then the men took leave and together they went to find a place to sleep for the night.
As the men were sleeping, they each had the same dream. In each of their dream, an angel appeared to them, warning them not to go back and tell King Herod where they found Jesus. King Herod didn't want to find Jesus to worship him, he wanted to kill him because he was jealous that this baby would someday be better than him and respected more than he was.
On waking, the men told each other about what they saw and each was surprised to hear about the other's dream.
"Is it not surprising?" remarked one of them in wonder "all of us saw the same thing. How can this be possible?"
"This is no ordinary dream then" said another, "maybe what we saw was true".
"Maybe this was a warning for us" said the third. "This was probably a divine message delivered to us as a dream by the heavens. Remember how the star guided us? This dream is guiding us the same way."
So the wise men went home another way so that Herod would not know where they had come from. They also decided that they would not inform him about anything that they had seen.
These three men are known as the wise men. It is because of their wisdom and cleverness that Jesus was unharmed. Even today, we hold the three men in respect. We call them the Three Wise Men, the three Magi, or the "Kings from the east".
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