Summary: A look at what outsiders the Magi were and the amazing fact that God invited them into the Christmas story anyway.
ASTROLOGERS?! REALLY?: God doesn’t care how little you know about Him.
- Matthew 2:1-2 – “Magi”
- The Christmas story and its details are so familiar to us that we fail to see the uncomfortable details that should shock us.
- One such detail: Magi come to bow down to Jesus.
- It’s not the religious leaders from Jerusalem or even some good believers from some rural synagogue that come. Instead, it’s something that’s a little embarrassing.
- First of all, they’re foreigners.
- Second, they’re astrologers or astronomers.
- It’s a little better if they’re just astronomers. If they’re astrologers, that means that they put false beliefs on the movements on the stars. But either way, though, it’s embarrassing.
- Third, they know almost nothing.
- Verse 2 indicates they basically have one piece of information: a star indicates the birth of the King of the Jews. They don’t know where He’s to be born, they don’t know anything about Him or His rule.
- We don’t know the specific source of their knowledge about the star. Some speculate that it might be extracted from Numbers 24:17, which is kind of obscure but some take to mean that a star is connected to the birth of the Messiah.
- Others presume that it could have been from an extra-biblical source that’s unknown to us.
- In the end, we don’t have any way of definitively knowing. We do know, as I said a moment ago, that their knowledge was seriously limited.
- It’s a huge statement that God would include such outsiders in the story of Jesus’ birth.
- God doesn’t care how much of an outsider you are.
- God works in mud.
- It really must have been quite a stick in the eye of the religious leaders when these guys came into town asking about where this one was who had born King of the Jews.
- “What? We haven’t heard anything about that!” they must have thought.
- In fact, it’s a curiosity in the story that none of the religious leaders went with the Magi to look for the baby. If the King had been born, wouldn’t they want to find out about it also? Perhaps they didn’t go because they presumed that there was no way that what the Magi was saying that the King had been born could be true because the message hadn’t come through official channels (read: them). I tend to think that even though verse 3 says many were disturbed by the Magis’ questions, upon reflection the religious leaders probably dismissed these guys as clueless yokels.
- Those of us who know a lot about the Bible look down sometimes on those who don’t, but God is after everyone.
- Look at the two groups who God prompts to come worship the baby:
a. The lowly (the shepherds).
b. The outsiders (the Magi).
- It raises the question: why does God include the Magi in the Christmas story?
a. It could be a nod to the fact that Jesus’ mission will include reaching out to those who are outside the Jewish nation.
b. It could be a nod to the fact that God is always looking beyond those who are the insiders.
- There is a constant temptation to make a sharp distinction between the outsiders and the insiders and presume that God has greater love for those of us on the inside.
- The Magi are a reminder that God is reaching out to everyone, not just those of us who think of ourselves as His favorites.
FINDING THE PATH: To get you there, God will speak to you in a way you’ll understand.
- Matthew 2:2, 4-6.
- These guys were astrologers or astronomers and so God speaks to them through a star.
a. God will meet you where you are.
- They are hundreds, possibly thousands of miles away from Jerusalem, and yet God gives them a sign that meets them where they are.
- There is a notion that you have to clean up your life and then God will meet with you. That is absolutely false. The truth is you can’t clean up your life on your own in a way that would make you clean before God.
- We have to come as we are.
- God is willing to meet you in the midst of your mess.
- God is willing to meet you in the middle of the disaster that you’ve created.
- God is willing to meet you no matter how far away you are from where He’s at.
b. God will speak to you in a way you can understand.
- You don’t have to know everything for God to speak to you. He’ll craft the message in a way that you can grasp.