Matthew 2:1-2, 9-12; 5:13-16; Genesis 1:14-19; Numbers 24:7
Men have studied the heavens as far back as we can possibly go. The heavenly bodies have mesmerized us since the dawn of creation and scientist and astrologers still study the cosmos. Instead of looking at stars and following the changes in the sky from season-to-season men are looking for other galaxies further and further into our Universe with telescopes and technology unheard of in the day of the Magi we find in Matthew’s Gospel.
Matthew records, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”” (Matthew 2:1-2) These men from the East had been studying the night sky, keeping careful record of the movement of the stars and the other celestial occurrences, probably as indicators for certain things that were expected to take place at certain times throughout the year. Going back to the beginning in Genesis 1:14-19 we read where God created the sun, moon, and the stars as well as all the other celestial things that we find in the sky in the day as well as in the night. And what we read in v. 14 is that they were put in the sky to be for “signs and for seasons and for days and years.” The Hebrew word here for signs literally means to foretell the future in order to prove someone’s authority. And so, once these Wise Men see this new celestial appearance in the sky, they are immediately aware of the significance of this star. Now how they know it, we are not real sure, but Scripture does give us some clue that something significant would occur in the sky when the Messiah/King would be born. In Numbers 24:7 we again reads; “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; a star shall come forth from Jacob, a scepter shall rise from Israel.” (emphasis added) As you can see the prophesy relating to the One who would rule from Israel would be made known by the appearance of a star.
Two things we see from the three men—they recognize a new star in the sky and immediately connect it with the birth of the King of the Jews (v.2), they have come to worship Him. The second thing we find, they bring gifts that are fitting for a King. After conferring with Herod, they leave, and as they go the star leads them to where Jesus is (Matthew 2:9-12). These men are bringing their finest gifts to be laid before the King of the Jews and while in His presence they plan to worship Him. The idea we get from the Greek is that these men have come, they started their journey with the idea in mind not only to bring Him their best frankincense, myrrh, and gold all of which are fitting of royalty. But the word here for worship mean to become completely dependent and submissive to the King’s authority. These three wise men upon seeing the child, Jesus Christ, seeing the star, they rejoiced joyfully because it had brought them to the King. They were able to worship and take with them back home the joy that comes with being brought to the Lord Jesus Christ. As we go about this Christmas Season let the Spirit of the Lord guide you as the star guided the wise men. And allow the joy of your worship infect and spill over into the lives of those around you leading them and others ever so closer to where He is (Matt 5:13-16).