Magi Confirm Messiah’s Birth

Key Verse: “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”
—Matthew 2:10

Selected Scripture:
Matthew 2

LOOKING AT THE SCRIPTURE “As the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ.” (Luke 3:15) That even the Gentile world was in expectation of a coming Messiah is demonstrated by the visit of the wise men (Greek, Magi, sages) who came from the east. “When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, … there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.” (Matt. 2:1) The term originally belonged to a class of priests among the Medes and Persians, who constituted the king’s council and who practiced astrology.

Ancient writers make frequent references to them, and the term was later applied to all eastern philosophers. Nations of the Far East had for a long time cherished a tradition that God would descend to earth in a visible form. The Prophet Daniel himself associated with some of these wise men. He was once a prince in Persia, and was well known to the disciples of Zoroaster. (Dan. 2:48) His prophecies were made known to them, as probably were the calculations by which he pointed to the time of the birth of the Messiah. The further belief was that this child from heaven would be born in Judea, gain dominion over the whole world and establish a golden age. The miraculous star in the east which some of the Gentile wise men had been taught to look for, had finally made its appearance, and would guide them to the wonderful light of the world. “There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre [the right to rule] shall rise out of Israel.”—Num. 24:17

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matt. 2:1,2) They had now come to Jerusalem; having traveled a far distance to observe first hand what they thought was to be the culmination of their beliefs. They explained, when they arrived, that they had come to see ‘he that is born King of the Jews, for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.’ When they met with King Herod, they quoted the words of the prophet, “Thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.”—vss. 5,6

When departing for Bethlehem, they again saw the star, and rejoiced, because it would lead them to the place “where the young child was.” (vss. 9,10) Upon reaching the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, “fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (vs. 11) These gifts also have special significance, and point out to us how we should present our hearts to him.—Luke 12:34

The wise men showed their reverence to the mighty God of Israel, their faith in the divinely inspired prophecies, their zeal as truth seekers, and their humility to inquire of the God of another nation. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, and praise be to God, the true source “of every good and every perfect gift.”—James 1:17

Dawn Bible Students Association
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