After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
On Christmas cards, it’s all picture-perfect. With a star illuminating the manger, three wise men bow down before the baby Jesus with their camels parked outside. And, of course, at the bottom of the card are the Hallmark words—Wise men still seek him today. But…let’s see what Scripture says about these visitors.
What or who is a magi? These men were magicians or astrologers known for their wisdom. They may have been from Persia. If that is the case, they had knowledge of Scripture that could be traced back to the time of Daniel (see Daniel 5:11).
How many magi traveled to see Jesus? We don’t know for sure. Based on the number of gifts that were presented to Jesus many conclude that there were three. Some traditions even have names for these men. But their names or numbers are not given in Scripture.
What star did they see? The star that guided them could have been a supernova or a conjunction of planets. One writer says that it was a supernatural reality similar to the Shekinah that led the Israelites in the days of Moses. All we know for sure is that the star was a true miracle of God.
While there are things we don’t know about the wise men, here are the things we know for certain. These men made a great sacrifice to see Jesus. They traveled a great distance. They brought their best to him. They sought Jesus and didn’t stop until they found him. They worshiped him. That is the heart of the magi story. And…that should be the heart of our Christmas story as well.
Father, your word says that we will find you if we seek you with all our hearts. May we, like the magi, truly seek after you. May we truly worship Jesus, our Savior, and Lord. In his name we pray. Amen.
For parents: In the first chapter of Living Grounded are the instructions for a life map. If you have not completed a life map with your high school or college-age children or grandchildren, this Christmas break would be a great time to do so. Share your insights with us at email@example.com.
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