The term “kings” is not actually used concerning the magi, the wise men, who were counsellors from the court of ancient kings. Their royal role, and the possibility that they were formal representatives of a distant throne, gives allowance for our tradition of calling them kings.
Our frequent note of their gifts might overlook the most notable fact about them. Before mentioning their gifts, the Bible says that when they saw Jesus, they “fell down and worshiped Him.” It is after that that they “opened their treasures.”
When the precise wording is read and the sequence studied, falling down, worshiping, giving, don’t you wonder what really happened? This was no casual issue, nor was it merely a pageant-like, formal moment. These men were overwhelmed, upon encountering a presence they did not expect.
May that same presence overwhelm us this Christmastime.