- Matthew 2:1-12
- Luke 2:30-32
- Micah 5:2
The travelers from the east are referred to as Magi, a term from which we derive the word magic or magician. This Sunday, we celebrate Epiphany, or Three Kings Day. We’ll dig deeper into Matthew 2:1-12. We sing a hymn which refers to them as three kings. We often call them wise men. But, who were they actually?
Scripture says they came from the east and followed a star. History tells us they traveled a thousand miles, or more, from present day Iraq or Iran, possibly Persia, or even India. They are purported to be priests of the Zoroastrian religion. Some say that the Zoroastrian religion is a forerunner of modern day Islam.
These priests were part magician, part astrologer, and part astronomer. The star of Bethlehem appeared to them eighteen to twenty-four months before the birth of Christ. Some say the star was a conjunction of planets, perhaps Halley’s Comet, or some other celestial event. At any rate, God placed it in the sky for the Magi to follow.
Simeon’s Song (Luke 2:30-32) tells us that Jesus would be a light to the Gentiles. The Magi following the star, ultimately finding the baby Jesus and presenting their treasure to the baby, is considered the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.
Consider the way God used the Bethlehem star as a way to attract attention to these stargazers. (Matthew 2:1-2)
When Herod inquired about where the birth would occur (Verse 3), the Magi were aware of Hebrew scripture. (See verse 3 and Micah 5:2.)
In verses 7-9, evil Herod called the Magi in a second time, requesting the Magi report back so that he might worship the baby.
The Magi continued to follow the star. Verse 10 says that they rejoiced exceedingly when they found the child with Mary.
Did they report back to Herod? Why did they make their decision? (See verse 12.)
When they found Mary and the Christ child, they worshiped Him and gave of their treasures.
Think about the fact that even though they were of another religion, they worshiped Christ, the Jewish Messiah.
Think about our study. Find the significance of the gift…gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
— Pastor John