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.