If the book’s title has a familiar ring, especially in December, it is because in some sense, it is an echo of the Christmas story of the Wise Men from 2000 years ago.
At that time, Persian wise men had unraveled a thousand-year-old prophecy from the religion of Zoroaster, in order to make a remarkable thousand-mile journey from the Persian East to the Roman/Jewish West. They discovered the infant Jesus at the time of His birth. And they worshipped Him, as the Promised One predicted by their own Zoroastrian religion.
Later, after Jesus had grown, He gave us many wonderful lessons. And He also left us with some indications of the time of His return. Our lead characters, Zach and James, are following these indications eastward this time–to the Holy Land and beyond. In the process they are re-enacting the story in the more modern age, becoming the “Wise Men of the West”.
The Wise Men of the East were able to transcend the religious and cultural barriers that separated Zoroastrian Persia from the Jewish/Roman world. They came in search, without preconceived notions about what the “King of the Jews” must look like. They did not allow His birth in a manger, instead of a royal palace, to prevent them from seeing His spiritual reality.
Now, as Zach and James head eastward in the 1840s in their more modern search, will they be able to muster that same spirit of detachment and humility which guided the Wise Men of the East? And will it lead to a similar success?