Collection: We Have Followed The Star

ARTIST: Dan Paulos


Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.

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In Matthew 2:1 the scriptures tell us that "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem." Also Verse 11 tells us, "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell down and worshiped him, and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh."

In none of the scriptures does it say there were three kings or that there were only three wise men. There could have been many more. Some religions say twelve. Fact is there were three that presented gifts, all of which had a very deep meaning. First there was gold, the most precious metal of all metals in that day. This was symbolic of His reign on earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Second was the gift of frankincense, which was symbolic of His priestly ministry here on earth. and myrrh was symbolic of our redemption through His suffering and death.

We also note that the wise men have always been pictured as riding camels. There is no description in the Scriptures as to how they arrived. They could have come by animal or they could have walked. We also don't know how long the trip took. It was the shepherds who found Jesus in a manger. The wise men found a young child, not an infant, and they went to Mary's house not a manger (Matthew 2:11). It does not matter how many wise men came, or how long it took to find Jesus. What is important is that they followed the star, and God's leadership and gave the symbolic gifts.

The Christmas carol, "We Three Kings" is one of the most popular carols ever written. It was written by Rev. John Henry Hopkins Jr. He was born on Oct. 28, 1820 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. His heart was set on going to law school, but after receiving his degree from the University of Vermont, (AB-1839 and MA-1845), He felt led of the Holy Spirit to enter the ministry. He entered the General Theological Seminary and graduated in 1850.After he graduated, he took a job as the Seminary's first music teacher from 1855 till 1857. He was also the editor of the "Church Journal" from 1853-1868. He served as a deacon in 1850 and was priest in 1872. Then he became rector of Trinity Church in Plattsburg, New York, and later served as rector of Christ Church in Williamsport, Pa.

It was in 1857, while teaching music at the Seminary that Rev. Hopkins wrote the hymn, "We Three Kings" for a Christmas pageant that was presented at the Seminary that Christmas. He probably wrote the hymn with his nieces and nephews in mind.