Wise Men Still Look For Him

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Three wise man

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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 in the east and have come to worship him.” – Matthew 2:1-2

There are several mysteries in this visit by the Magi, one of them being the star that led their way which was not only a guiding light but actually stopped over the place where the Christ child was. Many have attempted to provide us with natural explanations for this phenomena such as a comet or a meteor or a supernova but each has its problems because of the longevity of the star and it’s movement each day.

One of the best explanations, comes from the renowned Messianic Jewish scholar, Alfred Edersheim, who authored the monumental work, Jesus The Messiah. He points out that the Greek word translated “star” (asteer) really means “radiance” and was actually what the Jews knew as the “Shekinah” glory of the Lord – that is, a physical manifestation of the glory of God in the form of a supernatural radiance (2 Chronicles 7:1-3).

Another mystery is the Magi. Who were they and why were they looking for the “King of the Jews”? Magi is a Persian term for a priestly caste of wise men who specialized in astrology, medicine and natural science. The ancient Roman historian Herodotus says they interpreted dreams and omens and claimed to have the gift of prophecy. They would have had an interest in unusual heavenly radiance, as well as being familiar with the writings of the prophet Daniel who predicted the time and the coming of the Messiah to Israel (Daniel 9:24-27).

However, their primary purpose of their long travel was to come and “worship Him.” This is the first time the word worship is used in the New Testament. It literally means, “to kiss toward someone,” as a sign of deep respect and adoration.

The final mystery is why God would open the eyes of a group of Gentile mystics and draw them to worship the Christ child? Undoubtedly it was for the purpose of symbolizing the universal importance of the birth of Jesus in the world, to emphasize it was for all peoples, as Simeon’s song proclaims when he saw the Christ child for the first time:

“My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A light of salvation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32).

He still is the “light of salvation” today and the glory for all who will receive Him. As the Bible says, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21). Maranatha!

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