In 1895, Henry van Dyke wrote the story, “The Other Wise Man,” telling of a fourth wise man called Artaban. Our hero is not mentioned in the Gospel
because he missed the caravan. He got to Bethlehem too late to see the Baby Jesus. But Artaban did make it in time to save one of the Holy Innocents by bribing a soldier.
For 33 years Artaban searched for Jesus. He did not find Jesus, but all the while the Fourth wise man fed the hungry and helped the poor. Then one day in Jerusalem Artaban saw the “King of the Jews” being crucified. He started to offer a pearl as ransom. But then he saw a girl being sold into slavery to pay family debts. Artaban gave his pearl to buy freedom for the girl. Suddenly the earth quaked as Jesus died on the cross and a stone struck Artaban. Dying, he heard a Voice saying:
“When you helped the least of my children, you helped me. Meet me in Heaven!”
Artaban, the fourth Wise Man, had been making God present in his community for years by helping others. God asks each of us on the feast of
Epiphany to be a fourth Wise Man by becoming God’s epiphanies, making His love present in the world around us by our acts of love and kindness.