The Magi & Journeys

Matthew 2:1-12, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” At first they had no idea of Micah 5:2, showing that God had used astronomy (not astrology) to speak to the Gentiles. They were searching for Jesus in the wrong place, where are we searching for Him? Will we persevere in searching for him? What affect did meeting Jesus have on them? More importantly what affect does He have on us? King Herod said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.”… When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  

Whether or not the Magi understood the significance of the gifts, matters not to us. What does matter is that God helps us understand the statement made in the giving of these gifts. The gift of gold speaks of God’s intention for Jesus to exercise divine authority as King of Israel, their Temple had masses of gold even in it’s origin as the Tabernacle and in His day, Herod’s Temple was adorned with gold. The gift of frankincense speaks of God’s desire for the entire world to recognize his Kingship, see Mal. 1:11.  Myrrh has many uses, embalming, perfumery, and as a sedative, but in being given to Baby Jesus in view of His Kingship, it was certainly in the mind of God to indicate that His Kingship would be holy and pointed to his eventual High Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, Heb. 7:1-3, who was both a priest and king, mysteriously with no beginning or end. Myrrh’s role in Israel’s priesthood was a key ingredient for their anointing oil being holy to God, Ex. 30:23.  These gifts very likely played apart in educating Mary & Joseph, concerning the type of Messiah Jesus would grow up to be, emphasizing His spiritual power and not the physical.

Having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the Magi left for their own country by another way. The eastern Magi were ancient astronomers, and probably were familiar with Israel’s Messianic hope stemming from Daniel’s work in Babylon centuries beforehand. Our calendar devised in 1582 A.D. is off the mark by approximately 4 years placing Christ’s birth in either 4 B.C. or 5 B.C. and placing his death in 30 A.D. The Magi’s visit was about 2 years after this date, inferred by Mt. 2:16.

There were two journeys taken after Jesus was publicly known.  1.The Magi’s journey home.  2.The Saviour’s journey to Egypt. Both were more arduous than their first journey, but very beneficial. For the Magi, a partial gospel was spread farther east. For Jesus, His life was spared to make the gospel complete and fulfill prophecy from Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The establishment and anger of Herod was foreordained by God, showing again that God can overturn nations and kingdoms, so that those whom he loves can accomplish His will anywhere. 

How does meeting Jesus in our life, prepare or effect us for a new journey.  Is our new life in Christ, more arduous than our old life in the world? Jesus came to give us an abundant life now, not just in the next world, Jn. 10:10.

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