“The Magi”

Pastor David Moore

Old Testament reading: Isaiah 56:1-8 (NIV)  

This is what the Lord says:  

“Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the one who does this— the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”  

Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”  And let no eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.”  

For this is what the Lord says:  

“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant—to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever. And foreigners who bind  themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The Sovereign Lord declares— he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”  

Theme: Matthew uses the story of the Magi to teach us that knowing Jesus and knowing Him well. We then will be able to serve Him because of how He already has served us.  

New Testament reading: Matthew 2:1-12 

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the East came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the  east and have come to worship him.”  

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:  

But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”  

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”  

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.  

Magi were emissaries of the King of Nabataea, and they were star gazers.  

Why does Matthew write about the Magi?  

1. Matthew is writing to his fellow countrymen Jews. 

2. Matthew tries to address the Jewish struggle with life with only the context of the Torah. 
3. Matthew writes about forgiveness coming to worship Jesus. (Jesus is for all people worldwide, not just the Jews.)  ~D. Moore  

Three different reactions to Jesus’ birth:  

1.  Jesus is a potential threat to Herod and his control of Judea.  

2. The next reaction is the scholars (the people who doubt the Magi.) They believed enough to send people to check out the new King. The birth doesn’t directly impact their life. They live life as though God doesn’t exist. They live their life in such a way that God never enters their minds for decision making.  

3. The third group is the Magi. They came seeking God and found Him. The Magi worship Jesus and then present their gifts. The order is key. They first recognized Jesus for who He is and appropriately worshiped God, they willingly offered their talents to God.  ~D. Moore  

From my experience, it takes time while my faith matures to the point. That God is good and righteous, and He has given me everything I truly need, starting with His righteousness, His place before God, He has made me an heir and His child is whatever He asks of me, and I am willing to give. ~D. Moore  

Think about the story of the Magi. The temptation for us is to be like the scholar, we know about Jesus, but don’t know Jesus. We are to know Jesus well enough to serve Him, because of how He has already served us. Christ has asked us to help others to know Him, on a personal level. ~D. Moore  

This year: make it a goal to know God better than you did last year. It will change you. God bless!