At this time of the year our thoughts go to the Christ child, Jesus Christ and the magi that came to see Him.
The magi bring up a lot of questions, who are they, where did they come from, why did they come and how did they know about the birth of Jesus?
OBVIOUSLY THEY WERE NOT JUST IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND HAPPEN TO COME BY TO SEE JESUS, IT IS MUCH MORE INTERESTING THAN THAT.
First of all let’s do a little Biblical housekeeping. I know tradition says that there were 3 wise men but you can’t find that in the Bible, in Matthew 2:1 it says… behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. So we know there were more than 1 but from there on the Bible does not tell us how many wise men there were. Secondly, the wise men did not arrive at the manger scene they came later after Jesus birth and visited Jesus at a house. (Matthew 2:11)
Let’s start out with some foundational scriptures to set the scene:
We see in these verses that wise men also called magi or Chaldeans were the ones that came to worship Jesus. These wise men were from Babylon and Persia (modern day Iran) and represent the priestly group from these countries.
The walk or even the ride on a camel or an Arabian horse is a long one and they would have to go through dangerous areas on the way to Bethlehem, remember they were carrying expensive gifts for Jesus and there were robbers in that day just like there are now.
The title of this study about the Magi and Jesus could also be called from Babylon to Bethlehem.
So in Daniel 2: 12-49 Daniel tells King Nebuchadnezzar that his God will help him to interpret the dream which he did. Because of this the King elevated Daniel and he became in command right under the king. You see Judah had been taken into Babylon captivity for 70 years because of idolatry and others sins that God warned them against. Daniel was one of the Jews that was serving God but was taken into Babylon captivity because he and others were considered the cream of the crop in Israel. Jerusalem had been burnt and plundered by the Babylonians.
Needless to say Daniel had a lot of influence during these 70 years in Babylonian captivity and he was not afraid to talk about his God and His Word.
Among the prophecies that Daniel received from the Lord during that time was Daniel’s 70 weeks, (see in the Book of Daniel 9:24-27). To make it easy to understand, the 70 weeks represent 490 years. Daniel was giving prophecy that from the time the command was given to Nehemiah in Nehemiah 2:1-8 to rebuild Jerusalem by King Artaxerxes of Persian in 444BC to the coming of Jesus Christ on His entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and just days after that the crucifixion, was 483 years according to the Jewish calendar, just as Daniel had prophesied.
The prophetic clock stopped at 483 years leaving only 7 years left which will be the tribulation.
But back to the influence that Daniel had in Babylon and then in Persia, some came to be believers and followed Daniels teaching and other prophets and although they did not know the exact day of Jesus birth they knew from Daniels prophecy of 70 weeks and from studying the Word of God approximately when Jesus Christ would be born. As I mentioned they were very versed in astrology, studying the stars and their locations.
So how did all of this come together?
When the magi knew about the approximate time of Jesus birth and also knew of the prophecy of the prophet Micah 5:2 they had a pretty good idea when and where the Christ child would be born. Notice as we go back to Matthew 2:1-23 we know that this journey was a long and perilous one. Then we see that when they arrive they asked where is He that is born King of the Jews? They knew what was going on. They saw the star and was following it and eventually it took them right to the house that Joseph, Mary and Jesus were in.
When they arrived at the house where Jesus was it says in Matthew 2:2 that they worshipped Jesus and also brought Him expensive gifts vs. 11. They were true believers these were not casual visitors, you don’t worship someone unless you are totally committed to them.
What LOVE and PEACE and JOY these magi must have experienced as they came to worship God in the flesh. The very atmosphere must have been charged with it.
At this Christmas time we can learn a lot from the magi. Let’s come to our Savior and our King and truly worship Him with all of our being. LET’S MAKE A COMMITMENT TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP HIM FROM NOW ON PRESENTING HIM WITH THE BEST GIFT YOU COULD EVER GIVE OUR LORD JESUS AND THAT IS YOU’RE LIFE.
“…AND HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE.” ISAIAH 9:6
PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME.
MERRY CHRIST-MAS TO ALL OF YOU AND HAVE A BLESSED NEW YEAR.
NEXT MONDAY PLEASE JOIN US AGAIN AS WE GO BACK TO OUR TEACHING ON END TIME PROPHECY AND THE SERIES, “WHAT TIME IS IT?”
Conrad & Nita Freiholtz