Warmest Christmas Greetings!
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Matt. 2:1-2).
“After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”
The visit of the Magi is a familiar Christmas card scene. These men have been the subject of mystery, intrigue and speculation throughout the centuries. Who were they? What compelled them to travel so far? And what caused them to be so assured of what they would find? Matthew does not provide answers. Many years have elapsed since Daniel’s vision of the son of man and his everlasting dominion (Dan. 7). We can imagine the scholars examining this ancient prophecy and searching for its fulfillment. Remember the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork. We are not told how many visitors came. In fact the absence of detail is striking.
The Magi provide a picture of men and women in every generation being drawn to a consideration of the Christ. Each of us knows friends who are familiar with the Christmas narrative but have never bowed down before Jesus as Savior, Lord and King. Sinclair Ferguson reminds us that, “only through the eyes of humility can we accept a Savior in a borrowed stable, in a borrowed manger, on a borrowed cross, laid in a borrowed tomb.” This is the miracle of grace. God humbles the proud and exalts the humble (Luke 1:51-52).
It is important to keep this in mind as we invite family, friends, and neighbors to our Christmas events. Our hope and prayer is that their eyes will be opened to see that the child in the manger is the Lord of heaven who has come seeking to save the lost. What a privilege to sing the angels’ song and to tell of the real peace that Jesus brings.