The Scripture focus will be on Matthew 2:1-12 The Magi: The Nations of the World Come to Jesus. With the coming of the Magi to worship Jesus, we see the beginning of God’s promise to Abraham that his descendant will be a blessing to the entire world beginning to be fulfilled.
The Magi—The Nations of the World Come to Jesus
The Magi, or wisemen, are the first foreigners to come seeking Jesus and then worshipping him. The Wisemen appear in Jerusalem, asking where is the one born king of the Jews. They claim that they've seen his star. These Wisemen studied the stars and were scientists from the East. The Wisemen knew of Israel and the expectations of a Messiah through the influence of Daniel and his three friends, and from Esther and Mordecai, hundreds of years earlier. Daniel had great influence in the court and was even placed in charge of the wise man, becoming a Magi himself. Now hundreds of years later, the whole world is on tiptoe waiting eagerly in anticipation for something, but not quite sure who or what for.
The Wisemen follow a star God placed in just the right place in the night sky for them to notice, and they end up in Jerusalem, at the palace of King Herod. Herod has no idea of this child born king of the Jews. Herod calls his wise men and asks them where the Messiah is supposed to be born and they tell him Bethlehem. King Herod tells the Wisemen and sends them off to find this child king and asks them to come back to tell him where to find the child so he can go and worship the child too, though he really wants to get rid of this baby.
The Wisemen follow the star to the house where Jesus is and they offer Jesus their gifts and worship him. The foreigners from the nations appear before the Son of God and King of the world. The Wisemen bow down before Jesus and worship him. They recognize that Jesus is a special king. God makes sure the world knows how special Jesus is by writing Jesus’ birth announcement in the stars.
Jesus is king, not just of the Jews, but king of the entire world. A king in Biblical times was all powerful over his people. The king said 'Jump' and the person would ask 'How high' on the way up. The king held the power of life or death over all his subjects. Justice was a major responsibility of kings, making sure everyone was treated fairly. The king was the highest judge in the land and seen as the defender of orphans, widows, and the poor. The king was like a father or husband to these people, protecting and taking care of them.
The Wisemen are seeking this kind of a king; one announced by the stars who will do great things for all the people of the world. If they wanted to see a regular king, they could have gone to Rome or to Babylon, or to Cairo, but they are looking for a greatness that comes from God to watch over God’s people. The Wisemen give to Jesus from the best that they have, they bow before Jesus as a sign of his greatness, they worship him because they acknowledge Jesus' connection to God.
Jesus used many of the images of what a good, gracious, compassion king is supposed to be to his people; a shepherd king, husband or father, and defender of the oppressed. Jesus taught about justice and the kingdom of God and died on the cross to satisfy God's justice. Christmas means that the King has come to his world. As you come to the manger, do you come to worship Jesus as your king? Do you recognize Jesus as the only king in your life? Does Jesus shape how you live and what you believe and accept as truth for your life? Do his commands bring about instant obedience from you? Do you acknowledge his power over you and your accountability to Jesus as your king? Are you willing to place your life in Jesus' hands and worship him as king over every part of your life, over all of creation?
Jesus our King is coming back again to end all of the evil, all the suffering, to heal all the hurt and brokenness in the world, and even end death! Are you ready?