‘Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him’ (Matthew 2:2).
These are the only recorded words we have of those usually called ‘the wise men’. They were educated men, perhaps religious men of some kind. Not all such men are wise. These men were wise not only in the world’s estimation, but in truth. This brief statement reveals much about their true wisdom.
There is much weight in their question: ‘Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?’ There has been no royal announcement in Jerusalem, but they are confident it has happened. It is a dangerous question to ask of bloodthirsty and suspicious Herod, a man who has been assigned that very title, and is very protective of it. But these wise men seek the one born King of the Jews.
Herod understands that there are hints of God’s promised Messiah in that title, for he wants to know from the Jewish teachers around him where the Christ was to be born (v. 4; cf. Jeremiah 23:5-6). A Deliverer has come; a King has been born. The wise men are sure of it, and they want to find him.