Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
- In his account of Jesus’ birth, Matthew recounts the coming of the Magi.
- The accounts of Matthew and Luke are complementary and tell the same story from different perspectives.
- The Magi came from the East; they are mentioned in Daniel 2, Acts 8:9 and Acts 13:8-11.
- The Magi were not portrayed in a positive light in scripture, being astrologers--a false religious practice--who held that the stars revealed the future.
- The Magi may have had access to the Jewish scriptures and they may have read Numbers 24:17.
- Led by the star the caravan came to Jerusalem bearing gifts and good news that the Messiah was born.
- Herod and all Jerusalem was troubled over the birth of a Messiah (Matt. 2:3-8), failing to realize this was fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (cf. Isaiah 60:1-6).
- The priests and scribes pointed the Magi to Christ, but they were apathetic, unwilling to visit the Christ and worship him.
- The Jews had God’s word and they knew it; but they refused their calling to apply it and to teach the nations by example (Deuteronomy 4:5-6).
- The Jews presumed they were God’s chosen people, and they presumed their status with God.
- The Magi received the Word of God in Jerusalem, and the illumination of the star (the work of the Holy Spirit) led them to Christ.
- Overjoyed, the Magi fell down and worshipped (Matt. 2:9-10), recognizing their Creator, the one who made the stars.
- The Magi are the firstfruits of the nations who bring their wealth as they come to worship the new king of the nations (cf. Isaiah 60).
- They recognized in the infant their Lord and their God, the one who had led them to this place.
- To truly worship, we are to give Christ the best of what we have, laying down our lives in His service.
- Let us begin the New Year rejoicing, knowing that Christ is the sovereign over history (cf. 1 Peter 1:8).
- Who were the Magi and why did they seek the Christ?
- Why did the star direct the Magi to Jerusalem first?
- Why don’t the priests and scribes go with the Magi to worship the Christ?
- What is the significance of the gifts brought by the wise men?
- Are we more like the scribes and priests or the Magi, joyfully seeking to serve and worship Christ (see 2 Cor. 13:5)?
- In what areas do we need to repent and renew our commitment to Christ as we begin the New Year?