When the wise men went to search for Christ, the newborn king, they did not find him in Jerusalem. Indeed, if they were to find him at all, they had to listen to the prophet Micah. When they had received the Word, they took the road to Bethlehem. Then the star returned as soon as they had got outside Jerusalem, and it shone brightly before them right to Bethlehem, to the door where the babe was. And truly they needed such a comfort, for they found nothing there but poverty and beggary. There is hardly a drink of water. Can this really be a king’s abode?
But the saintly men are not misled. Heedless of the poverty and wretchedness, they fall down before the babe and worship him, and open their treasures and present them to him.
We should learn from this story also the right attitude to have toward our Lord Jesus Christ. That is, we should cast aside all offense and, together with these wise men, witness before the world to the Lord Christ, seek him from the bottom of our hearts, and adore him as our Savior. And because his reign on earth is so poor and wretched, we should with our gold, goods, and all our possessions gladly help to increase his kingdom. For on this very day we can still open to Christ our treasures and present them to him, as the wise men did. How? His answer is written for us: “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40). (Sermon for Epiphany, 1544) (WA 52:92f)