Advent Series: How the Birth of Jesus Impacted…
Magi – Matthew 2:1-12 Late to the Party
And then there were Magi that showed up…
Fascinating thought…If the star appeared the night of his birth (as per the shepherds’ account), and the Magi were from the East far enough away to come from a different culture, they must have traveled for some time to get to Jerusalem, which is not far from Bethlehem.
Picture this…you are a humble family in the middle east giving birth to what some think is your child conceived before marriage. You have registered that child with the government and done what Hebrew law required spiritually. You are probably staying in meager quarters (probably out of the barn) because you didn’t budget for this unexpected detour. You’re staying until your wife can bear the trip home (no air fares available!).
Three Magi show up out of the blue. Magi is often translated as “wise men” or “kings.” Magi is related to our word “magician.” They were so wise, so all knowing, that what they did was considered “magic” by those they astounded. There is no indication that they were kings or rulers, but they were probably closely related to kings because a king would want to be close to their knowledge, their insight, as well as their entertainment.
So, they are dressed for court as they enter. After all, they knew they were going to meet a future king. They had just been in Herod’s court and saw all the riches it beheld.
So…in your mind, picture Mary, Joseph and little Jesus standing there while these Magi, men from another culture, come in with their riches. Mary and Joseph know the truth about their baby. And shepherds, humble folk they could relate to had visited before, but now this?
And then, they prostrate themselves. They bow down and worship their baby boy. I can imagine Mary and Joseph looking around, wondering who was seeing this! Was their secret out? They had been trying to blend into woodwork, but all of Bethlehem must have seen the parade through the city of these foreign men. And now they are declaring him, worshipping him, as King.
And the gifts — gold, the wealth of a king; frankincense, the aroma of the spiritual; myrrh, the embalming spice of death. How overwhelming! How curious! What would it all mean?
Throughout life, God revealed what it meant. The gold was used to flee to Egypt, to fulfill scripture and save Jesus’ life. The frankincense was probably used in worship as they took Jesus into the temple of his true Father. And the myrrh, representative of the death of a king.
God sometimes does amazing things in our life, out of the box, and it takes time to realize what it means. In amazement, we need to take it in and live in the moment. God will show us in the future what it means.
Have you ever had one of those “God moments” that later you know what it meant? I’d love to hear about it…