Who Were the Wise Men - Matthew 2:1-12

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1 Wh Were the Wise Men - Matthew 2:1-12 One Christmas, mm decided that she was n lnger ging t remind her children t write their thank-yu ntes fr the gifts they receive. As a result, their grandmther never received acknwledgments f the generus checks she had given the children. The next year things were different, hwever. The grandmther tld a friend triumphantly that "The children bth came ver t my huse in persn t thank me. "Hw wnderful!" the friend exclaimed. "What d yu think caused the change in behavir?" "Oh, that's easy," the grandmther replied. "This year I didn't sign the checks." Smetimes the best way t say thank yu is t d it in persn After Jesus was brn in Bethlehem, He received a visit frm men wh came t thank Him and wrship Him as Lrd Matthew describes that visit in Matt 2, describing them as magi The magi came frm the east because they had seen a star in the east They knew the appearance f this star meant that the Messiah, the King f the Jews, had been brn S they traveled t Jerusalem t find Him and wrship Him This detail in the stry f Jesus birth generates a number f miscnceptins and leads us t a series f significant questins Fr example, mst f ur nativity scenes prtray the magi as attending the birth f Christ in the stable But the text f Scripture says they came t Mary and the Child in a huse, nt a stable Plus it wuld have taken them sme time t fllw the star, visit with Herd and eventually find Mary and Jseph They mstly likely visited 2 years after the birth Further, we are never tld hw many magi visited Jesus 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

2 The Magi - Matthew 2: f 6 Many peple have cme t assume there were three because we re tld they brught three kinds f gifts But it culd have been a grup f magi fr each type f gift In fact, it wuld make sense t assume that a large grup came t wrship rather than merely three S n this Christmas Eve let s set the recrd straight n the magi and understand why their experience is recrded in the text f scripture Wh are these magi and why did they cme t Jerusalem? The wrd refers t a particular kind f magician r srcerer fund in the eastern natin f Babyln These men were astrlgers living in the east in the regin f Mesptamia r mdern Iraq They served in the curt f the leader f Babyln They trace their existence all the way back t the time f Nebuchadnezzar and the bk f Daniel They tell Herd they saw a star in the eastern sky and recgnized it as the sign that the Messiah had been brn S why wuld eastern astrlgers want t wrship the Jewish Messiah? Hw did they even knw t lk fr such a sign, much less recgnize that this star meant the Messiah had been brn? First, let s cnsider the details f the stry carefully Accrding t v.9, the star started in the east and mved westward until it eventually settled ver the huse f Mary and Jseph This is n rdinary star In fact, this is n natural bject The nly reasnable explanatin fr a bright light that mves this way and is fcused n the Sn f Gd wuld be the Shechinah glry f Gd 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

3 The Magi - Matthew 2: f 6 This was the glry f Gd Himself, illuminating the sky t draw the wise men That explains hw the magi fund the Christ, but hw did they knw t fllw the star and why did they have any interest in the Messiah? Remember these men were magi, astrlgers emplyed in Babyln t serve the Babylnian curt They were part f lng histry f srcerers that included nne ther than Daniel and Ezra Daniel was a yung Jewish nbleman wh was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar in 600 BC Gd gave Daniel the ability t interpret prphetic dreams fr the king At ne pint, Daniel wrte a prphetic bk in Aramaic, the language f the Babylnian empire The bk included a prphecy that a Messiah wuld ne day arrive fr Israel and the wrld Daniel gave the date f that arrival in Daniel 9:24-27 S nearly 600 years befre the arrival f the Christ child, Daniel gave the astrlgers in the Babylnian curt the precise timing fr the Messiah s arrival Why wuld the astrlgers care t remember Daniel s wrds r pay heed t them? At ne pint in his service t the king, Daniel cmes t the aid f all the astrlgers The king has a dream that n astrlger culd interpret, and s the king threatened t kill all f the magi Daniel cmes t their rescue and interprets the dream given t the king As a result Daniel becmes the head f the astrlgers As a result Daniel establishes wrship f Jehvah within this curt and directs them t anticipate the arrival f the Messiah in the appinted year 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

4 The Magi - Matthew 2: f 6 S nw we knw why generatins f astrlgers frm generatin t generatin wuld have knwn t watch fr the Messiah s arrival The Lrd gave the magi the date fr the arrival thrugh Daniel They anticipated the Lrd s arrival and were ready t receive Him But hw did they knw that the star was their sign t fllw t Jesus? The prphecy Daniel gave never said anything abut a star The answer t that riddle cmes even earlier in OT histry Daniel wasn t the first Biblical character t serve in the curt f astrlgers in Babyln Anther prphet - a decidedly less hnrable man - served thusands f years befre Daniel A prphet named Balaam wh lived in Mesptamia is featured in an early episde in the histry f Israel While the natin wandered in the wilderness in a land named Mab, the king f Mab, Balek, hired a magi frm Babyln t curse the Israelites The king knew that the srcerers f Babyln had great spiritual pwer S he paid Balaam t curse Israel in the hpe f defeating them in battle The Lrd prevents Balaam frm speaking evil against His chsen peple Instead, Gd frces Balaam t speak blessings upn Israel rather than curses, and the blessings Balaam speaks ges this way Num. 24:16 The racle f him wh hears the wrds f Gd, And knws the knwledge f the Mst High, Wh sees the visin f the Almighty, Falling dwn, yet having his eyes uncvered. Num. 24:17 I see him, but nt nw; I behld him, but nt near; A star shall cme frth frm Jacb, A scepter shall rise frm Israel, And shall crush thrugh the frehead f Mab, And tear dwn all the sns f Sheth Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

5 The Magi - Matthew 2: f 6 The prphecy f Balaam says that a star will cme frth frm Jacb, meaning frm the Jewish peple And this star (r scepter) will rise frm Israel The Babylnian magi were tld by ne f their wn t watch fr the rise f the King f the Jews t be annunced by a star This star r scepter wuld rise frm Israel t mark the arrival f this King S the curt f magi were tld bth the date f the Messiah s arrival and the sign in the sky t watch fr S when the year arrived, the magi must have becme especially attentive t the sky And then when the Shechinah glry f Gd appeared in the east they knew what they were seeing And as they fllwed, it led them t the yung Christ child Is it amazing the way Gd wrks t reveal Himself t us ver centuries and thrugh the mst unlikely f circumstances? He can influence men frm acrss histry and even use the mst ungdly natins t prduce praise fr His gdness and pwer But at the center f all that Gd des is His wrd The Magi knew t find the Messiah, t find Gd in the frm f a baby, because they knew Gd s wrd They knew the wrd Gd gave t Balaam They knew the wrd Gd gave t Daniel And then they made a decisin t believe that wrd, t trust Gd s prmises and t fllw what they heard until the encuntered the living Lrd And then they wrshipped Him as Gd That s ur pprtunity tnight and everyday We can knw the truth abut Gd and abut His Sn, Jesus And we can knw it in the same way the Magi did 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

6 The Magi - Matthew 2: f 6 Nt thrugh supernatural displays in the sky That time has cme and gne in Gd s plan Rather we can knw it by reading and understanding Gd s wrd We can read that: Jhn 3:16 Fr Gd s lved the wrld, that He gave His nly begtten Sn, that whever believes in Him shall nt perish, but have eternal life. Jhn 3:17 Fr Gd did nt send the Sn int the wrld t judge the wrld, but that the wrld might be saved thrugh Him. And Rm. 5:6 Fr while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died fr the ungdly. Rm. 5:7 (Fr rarely will anyne die fr a righteus persn, thugh fr a gd persn perhaps smene might pssibly dare t die.) Rm. 5:8 But Gd demnstrates his wn lve fr us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died fr us. Rm. 5:9 Much mre then, because we have nw been declared righteus by his bld, we will be saved thrugh him frm Gd s wrath. And Rm. 10:9 that if yu cnfess with yur muth Jesus as Lrd, and believe in yur heart that Gd raised Him frm the dead, yu will be saved; Rm. 10:10 fr with the heart a persn believes, resulting in righteusness, and with the muth he cnfesses, resulting in salvatin. These instructins are the wrd given t us by Gd Himself He hlds pen an pprtunity fr each f us t enter int His presence upn ur death in a future day, just as the magi entered int Christ s presence s many years ag And like thse men, we enter by beying the call f Gd in His wrd They heard abut a star, and beyed and wrshipped We have heard abut the man Jesus...have yu bey and fllwed and wrshipped? 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

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