Daily Word

Went to worship | Matthew 2:1-2

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, 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 (NASB)

Who is Herod?

So Jesus was born of a virgin, God with us, Immanuel. Matthew doesn’t give us as much detail about the birth as Luke does (Luke 2) but continues the event with the coming of the Magi. At the time, Herod was king in Judea. But he was not King, in the sense of the Jewish king of the lineage of David.

“He was wealthy, politically gifted, intensely loyal, an excellent administrator, and clever enough to remain in the good graces of successive Roman emperors. His famine relief was superb and his building projects (including the temple, begun 20 B.C.) were admired even by his foes. But he loved power, inflicted incredibly heavy taxes on the people, and resented the fact that many Jews considered him a usurper. In his last years, suffering an illness that compounded his paranoia, he turned to cruelty and in fits of rage and jealousy killed close associates.” (enduringword.com quoting Carson) This introduction sets up the following scene.

Who are the Magi?

These Magi, by Christmas tradition, were three in number – due to the three types of gifts they present to the King (v11). They came from the East (possibly China) where they saw a special star. They were expert stargazers who realized that the star indicated a King was born. One thing is certain, they went to worship.

“[I]t is likely that the wise men had some records of Daniel’s prophecies, which included the timing of Jesus’ birth (but not the place, which is why they went to Jerusalem, not Bethlehem). They were searching the sky for signs because that’s all they knew to look for.” (answersingenesis.org) For more information on the Magi, check out this link

A star in the East?

When you first read this, it may seem like the start was in the East. But read it again. The Magi were the ones in the East when they saw the star (in the West) and headed to Jerusalem (see above). “God graciously gave them a sign in the sky—not an astrological sign, but the rising of a new star, which was a miraculous occurrence, perhaps even a manifestation of God’s glory. This explains how the star could appear, disappear, appear again, and lead them to a particular house.” (answersingenesis.org

RЯeflection

  • Has God put in you a strong desire to worship Jesus Christ? Would you travel across a continent to do it? Thankfully, we can worship where we are. How about doing that now?
Three wise men. Image from Pxfuel.com

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2 Comments

  1. Good stuff.
    Concerning where the wise men the magi, were from it sounds more credible to me that they were from Persia, modern day Iran, and that they had been exposed to the influence in the culture from Daniel and the other devout Hebrews.

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