Bible Studies for Life
January 6 2018
Matthew 2:1-11 (HCSB)
Singing Christmas carols is an important part of our Christmas worship tradition. However some of them could be the subject of “Christmas Carols Debunked.” For example the night Jesus was born was not really a “Silent Night.” There was a heavenly choir of angels singing praise at the announcement of His birth. Also for a baby to be awakened and not cry He would have to be tucked “Away in the Manger” far from lowing cattle. My point is not to be disrespectful but to help us lay aside false notions of Christmas and hold to what the Scriptures say.
We have some false notions about the magi who visited Jesus (Matt. 2:1-2). We sing “We Three Kings” but the Bible doesn’t tell us they were kings or there were only three. The word “magi” has a Persian origin that describes priests and/or astrologers. These magi studied star patterns and their relationship to ancient prophecies. The Bible says they were from the East not that the star was in the East. Sorry but “The First Noel” needs tweaking as well. The magi had to go west to find Jesus.
The magi were led by a star to Jerusalem. Their purpose was to worship “He Who was born King of the Jews.” This disturbed Herod. Why? By Roman authority Herod was considered the king of the Jews. He would be opposed to any competition to his rule. He instructed them to find this child and report back. They were warned by the Lord not to return to Herod.
The magi were led to Jesus by a star. They were overwhelmed with joy. They fell on their knees and worshipped Him. They offered extravagant gifts of gold frankincense and myrrh. This is a powerful picture of worship. Christmas is an invitation to come see the King. We can joyfully worship Him and give the extravagant offering of our lives everything we have and everything we are. We can lay it down before the King of kings.