Contrary to the popular song, the Magi were not “three kings.” The Magi were diviners, astrologers, prophets, wise counselors — not kings, but king-makers, the power behind the throne of the Parthian Empire, Rome’s enemy to the east. So when their delegation arrived inside the Roman Empire, in the court of Herod, Rome’s puppet king in the province of Judea, it made a bit of a splash. The fact that they were looking for a new king only made it worse.
How did they come to be looking for a king? “We saw his star,” they said. Five hundred years earlier, Daniel had become the chief of the Magi, not only recording his own dreams and visions of Israel’s promised Messiah, but also bringing the Hebrew Scriptures with him. A thousand years before that, those Scriptures reported, Balaam had prophesied that a star would rise out of Jacob.
The Magi watched the heavens as a matter of course. And when the star appeared, they searched their books, learned what it meant, and came to meet the king. Took a little doing, but they found Him.
Christians sometimes get a little possessive of Jesus, and start thinking that “outsiders” (however defined) can’t possibly know what we know about Him. How could the Magi find Jesus by watching the stars? Because He made them, and rightly understood, they point to Him.
As does everything else.
So much for the necessity of having to get just the right “content of saving faith.” 🙂
Yes, and that is a major point in grasping salvation by grace through faith. You really can pray, “Jesus, I just know I’m gonna believe this wrong. Will You just take care of everything for me?” — and you’re in. The good news is not that God has replaced a morality test with a soteriology exam.
Oh man, brothers, I needed this today! Thank you and mostly thank You Lord Jesus!