Faces of Christmas – Magi

 

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1-2

We see magi listed throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. Most people associate magi with the birth of Jesus, but they were mentioned in the book of Daniel. We see them referred to as magicians and astrologers in this context. The term also refers to those of the Meridian tribe that had priestly functions in the Persian Empire. In Acts 8:9, 13:6, and 8 the magi are the people who practice magical arts. The most important picture of the magi we see is the wise men that came from the east when they saw that a king had been born.

This event occurred over 2,000 years ago. There was no town crier announcing the birth of Jesus. There was no social media for Joseph to post that he was now a father. The town was full of people that were in town due to the festival that was taking place. The people of the town were in some cases mere feet from the Messiah and did not know it. They were going about their own business and as the Messiah was born life was changed for the world, but they had no clue. Men from the east saw a star and it led them to the town and ultimately to baby Jesus.

Wise men seek Jesus. These men came to King Herod looking for the baby Jesus. They were on a journey to find the long awaited Messiah. People went about their lives and were still unware. Simeon and Anna spoke about Him but still people did not take notice. These magi however took notice and because of that they became wise men. These men were not from Israel and were Gentiles. Jesus’ own people rejected Him, but Gentiles from another country sought Him.

When we are closest to something sometimes we are farthest from it. The people that should have known and cared the most about the Messiah being born were oblivious to the fact. As we enter into the season of advent let’s not forget that we are celebrating the birth of Christ. We cannot let the busyness of the Christmas season take our focus from God. We cannot be like the people of Bethlehem and ignore the Messiah who dwells among us.

Satan will try to stop wise men from finding Jesus. As men seek Jesus Satan will work to keep them from finding Him. Our journey to Jesus was likely not easy. We faced many struggles and some might have been at rock bottom before they found Jesus. The journey that the magi took was likely not an easy journey but they found Him and were thrilled.

The light leads us to Jesus. What would make these wise men seek the baby? These men saw an extraordinary star. This was a star that no one had ever seen before and it is likely that no one has seen a star like this since. These wise men who were likely astrologers took this as a sign. They knew that this star was due to a great person being born in the land of Judea. When they arrived they asked King Herod where the baby was. Notice they did not ask if the Messiah was born but where. Those that know of Christ will have the desire to know more of Him.

We should let Jesus shine through us so that others can find Him. When Christ dwells in our hearts we must let Him shine through us so that people will see Him. We need to be like the star that was shining bright so that others are directed towards God. When Christ dwells in us people should know that there is a difference and be curious as to what that difference is.

God can lead people to Christ in a multitude of ways. The magi we lead to Christ through the star. An angel appeared to the shepherds. God brings us to Him through different ways and it is up to us to respond. If we end up in Hell it is because we made the choice. God gives each of the opportunity to respond to the signs He is showing us to bring us into the presence of the Messiah we must accept that invitation. God will speak to us in a language that we will understand.

Come to worship when you find Jesus. The magi were prepared to worship the Messiah when they found Him. They did not wait until they found Jesus to make the decision to worship. They had a constant attitude of worship. Are we constantly seeking God? Remember to seek God this Christmas season and beyond.

Take away:

  1. Even when the people of Jesus’ town did not see the Messiah people on the outside were able to see Him based on the desire to see God’s signs.
  2. We cannot be like the people of Bethlehem and ignore the Messiah who dwells among us.
  3. Are we seeking God?
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