They had seen a bright particular star, which tradition connected with the birth of a great king. The wise men missed their way, and went to Jerusalem; the shepherds did not. The wise are often less able to find Jesus than the poor and simple.
Thus by means of a cruel enemy the Lord obtained a grand public testimony from all the great teachers of the Jews that Messiah was to be born at Bethlehem, and by this means it was noised abroad that a star had appeared, and strangers had come from far to see the newly-born king of the Jews. Truly, God glorifies his Son even by his foes.
True faith is not disappointed at the lowliness of the Saviour. Though the wise men found Jesus in a mean abode, they discerned his majesty, and adored him with offerings suitable to a prophet, priest, and king.
Matthew 2:14, 15
Providence both watched over the safety of the Lord, and enabled Joseph to support the mother and child by the offerings of the eastern sages. In the same manner is the church the peculiar care of heaven in all its persecutions and needs.
Thus did our Lord narrowly escape a cruel death. He had poor welcome among men, whom he came to redeem. Angels celebrated his birth with songs, but among men the malice of the wicked greeted him with the blood of infants and the wailings of bereaved mothers. O dear Redeemer, how sorrowfully did thy life for us begin! Alas! how sorrowfully did it end!
As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold,
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright,
So, most gracious God, may we
Evermore be led by thee!
As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly manger-bed,
There to bend the knee before
Him whom heaven and earth adore,
So may we, with willing feet,
Ever seek thy mercy-seat,