The Magi Visit the Messiah
[2 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.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.
5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.
Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.]
In most of the nativities we have sitting in our living rooms we will see the wise men often in close proximity to the nativity.
Many scholars now say, in reality they didn’t arrive till Jesus was close to age two.
In the text above it say’s, “coming to the house they saw the child.” That does not say ‘infant’.
It took them many months to travel by camel to go to the ‘house where they found Mary and Joseph and little Jesus’.
If we look at the meaning of the gifts it is also a ‘orchestrated part’ of the story.
Gold was for royalty, frankincense was a fragrant incense used in religious ceremonies and myrrh was a spice often used in burial.
If Mary and Joseph knew those meanings the gifts would bring deep thought to them.
Remember Mary pondered all this in her heart. This was a unique baby of hers, a son from on High.
The wise men brought gifts that added depth and meaning to the story and the reason was clear.
This child was a savior and not only would Mary experience his birth, it said ‘a sword will pierce your heart’.
For that is what grief feels like when a love one passes from us.
The wise men had to bring these gifts so that the story could be completed.
Let us continue to move through the ‘orchestration of God’ as we read the Christmas story.