” Columba altar of Rogier van der Weyden (ca. 1500) shows a completely different way for the believers to identify with the three kings. Now the worship takes place on earth rather than in heaven, and it takes place not in a house as in Matt 2:11 but, in agreement with Luke 2, in the stable of Bethlehem, in poverty and lowliness. The three kings wear contemporary clothes of respectable, late medieval citizens. The emphasis is no longer on their gifts; it is on their devotion to the newborn infant Christ on Mary’s lap. Mary is no longer the queen of heaven; now she is a mother. Once again the three wise men are leading a procession; this time it is not a procession of virgins as in San Apollinare but of people of that day who are following them to the baby in the stable. Through the walls of the run-down stable one sees not paradise but a late medieval city. A crucifix hangs on the middle pillar of the stable: the child born in extreme poverty and lowliness will die on the cross. The heavenly star, symbol of divine glory, is only partly visible.”

Ulrich Luz, Matthew 1-7