Reading the Word
Matthew 2:1–2 (ESV)
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Understanding and Applying the Word
We read here of wise men from the east who traveled to Jerusalem to find Jesus. The word translated as “wise men” is from the word “magi” and points to the likelihood that these men were astrologers. This explains why they noticed a star that pointed them to Jesus’ birth. Popular tradition speaks of three kings who went to see Jesus, but there is no mention of these men being kings. It is true that there were three gifts (gold, frankincense, and myrrh), but Scripture does not tell us how many magi there were.
The central point we must not miss in this passage is that God was working to draw all people to himself. Jesus came not only to save the Jewish people, but all people. Even at his birth, the nations went to Jesus to give gifts and to worship. This truth is a central focus of Matthews Gospel that ends with Jesus telling his followers to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. The gospel is for everyone who will worship Jesus: you, me, our neighbors, our co-workers, etc. Let us go and tell the world of the Savior who has come!
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