The story of the visit of the magi does not appear in any other place in the Bible. As I read through the verses this year I focused on the the Magi, the star, and the gifts.
As I read through the passage these are the words that stuck out.
Look at these words:
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem.. after
The star.. it stopped over the place where the child was … child not baby
On coming to the house, they saw the child … they were no longer in an animals’ shelter but a house.
We know that the timing is not what we see in picturebooks or crèche scenes. The Magi did not come at the same time as the shepherds.
Can I walk like the Magi?
They were fully focused on one task. They might have even been walking at night. But they trusted where they were headed. They had researched. They had studied. They knew they were being led by God. They walked. They heard from King Herod. They moved on. The star appeared again. They were excited. They found Jesus. They acknowledged He was God. They worshipped Him. I feel a calmness as I read the passage- slow, methodical. Moving forward. Listening to God – they went home another route.
I move forward.
I stay calm.
The Magi were willing to revise the plan (they went home another route). Am I willing to change?
Can I revise my plan?
Follow – being purposeful, having movement, being able to change.
What would make them travel so far?
They were probably wise men, not kings, but astrologers who sought answers from the stars. They had seen a special star that appeared in the east (at the time of Jesus’ birth). After much reading and study (I found many controversial articles) I know that the magi did not appear at the time of the shepherds, at Jesus’ birth. But when they actually appeared has been argued over but we can safely conclude that it was between 3 months and 2 years after Jesus’ birth.
The Magi themselves had also researched about a star. They had read the Jewish accounts of a baby to be born, King of the Jews. They knew that Jerusalem would be where they might find a king so they travelled there. And I don’t think they followed the star.
Look at these words:
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was (Matthew 2:9, NKJV).
I think the star appeared to them again – a sign of the baby they were going to see. And we hear the excitement – Behold. Some versions say, “Lo”. This is new divine guidance.
Now I wondered what this all means to my life?
Do I have something to focus on? Yes it is God and His Word. Am I fully engaged in doing this? Do I get upset when I don’t see a clear sign or hear a clear word from God? No, I need to keep moving forward until He stops me or reroutes me. I pray for new divine guidance.
There were three gifts recorded. Gold, frankincense and myrrh. We don’t know how many Magi came. There is some discussion if there is a reason for these particular gifts. One can certainly guess.
The gold – for a King. Money for the family to move to Egypt.
Frankincense – is a perfume used in the sanctuary to put on sacrifices.
Myrrh – is a bitter perfume used in burials and associated with suffering.
But there were definitely gifts, to pay homage to a King, to worship Him.
I am not excited about gifts or gift-giving. It is not one of my love languages as explained by Gary Chapman in the Five Love Languages. The love languages are: Words of affirmation; Acts of service; Receiving gifts; Quality time; Physical Touch. You can click HERE to do a quick test (10-15 minutes) to find your love language and your child’s.
But I do want to worship our Lord. I remember a children’s song – what gift can I bring to a King? I give Him my love, my heart, and my life. That’s worship. That’s my gift.
Heavenly Father, I do get confused. I have way too many ideas. I have too many tasks. I want to follow You and to feed Your lambs. How? Show me the “star” to lead me. I want to be in Your light, and shine like the stars in the heavens. Guide me. Give me signs. Illuminate Your way. Open doors. Reveal the path. I watch. I wait. I work. I walk forward even when I don’t hear clearly. In Jesus’ name. Amen.