Three Wise Men
According to Christian tradition, Three Wise Men came to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. As stated in the Gospel of Matthew, these Three Wise Men, also known as Magi, came from the east part of the Jerusalem to rejoice the appearance of Jesus Christ on the face of earth. They followed a star, called the Star of Bethlehem, to reach to baby Christ. They came with gifts for the baby Christ.
Origin of Three Wise Men
The belief dating back to medieval times said that the names of these Three Wise Men were Gasper or Casper, Balthazar and Melchior. Some researchers argued that they were the representatives of three races. According to Bible, they were from the east, but Bible did not mention the exact location. Popularly it is assumed that they came from either Arabia or Babylon or Persia. Some traditions also say that Gasper or Casper was the king of India, Balthazar was the king of Arabia and Melchior was the king of Persia.
In the Biblical conversation, these kings were not described, not even named. It is believed that the Three Wise Men or Magi were highly educated individuals who knew to interpret dreams and the way to control them as well.
Gifts from the Magi
According to Bede the Venerable, the 8th century saint, Gasper was a young charming prince who offered the gift of incense to the baby Christ. The gift of incense was representing the respect for Divinity. Balthazar, the black king, offered the gift of myrrh, which was representing the prefigured death of the Son of man. Melchior, the oldest among all, offered the gift of gold.
Bible did not specifically mention about Three Wise Men only. In fact, there is no concrete evidence how many Magi actually visited baby Jesus. Eastern philosophy says that the number of wise men visited baby Jesus was not 3 but 12. It is assumed that it was the three significant gifts of gold, incense and myrrh that made it to believe that Three Wise Men came to visit baby Jesus. The Christian tradition further extended with the concept of baptism of the Wise Men by St. Thomas the Apostle. It is said that all of the Three Wise Men got baptized and they spent the rest of their life spreading the message of Christianity. However, there are legends that say that these Three Wise Men were at their 100 years of age when they came to meet baby Jesus and soon after meeting they died.