“Grace is an outrageously relational term.”
– Dr. Ed Khouri
“How is the indwelling Spirit not relational?” – David Crabtree

Keep Following the Wise Men!

A joyful reminder of the story of Christmas from the vantage point of the Wise Men.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem near Jerusalem during the reign of King Herod. After Jesus’ birth a group of spiritual priests from the East came to Jerusalem and inquired of the people, “Where is the child who is born king of the Jewish people? We observed his star rising in the sky and we’ve come to bow before him in worship.”

King Herod was shaken to the core when he heard this, and not only him, but all of Jerusalem was disturbed when they heard this news. So he called a meeting of the Jewish ruling priests and religious scholars, demanding that they tell him where the promised Messiah was prophesied to be born.

“He will be born in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,” they told him. “Because the prophecy states:
And you, little Bethlehem,
are not insignificant among the clans of Judah,
for out of you will emerge
the Shepherd-King of my people Israel!”

Then Herod secretly summoned the spiritual priests from the East to ascertain the exact time the star first appeared. And he told them, “Now go to Bethlehem and carefully look there for the child, and when you’ve found him, report to me so that I can go and bow down and worship him too.”
And so they left, and on their way to Bethlehem, suddenly the same star they had seen in the East reappeared! Amazed, they watched as it went ahead of them and stopped directly over the place where the child was. And when they saw the star, they were so ecstatic that they shouted and celebrated with unrestrained joy. When they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, they were overcome. Falling to the ground at his feet they worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure boxes full of gifts and presented him with gold, frank-incense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:2-11 TPT

As they follow the Star

I love the Christmas story. Each recorded detail of it has drama, warmth, and romance. Who would have thought that non-Jewish, Eastern foreigners would play a lead part? They certainly had developed sensitivity to the mystical and supernatural. Brian Simmons, the author of The Passion Translation, makes this very interesting note in connection with Matt 2:1, referring to the wise men as “spiritual priests,” possibly with a lineage to the prophet Daniel who had taught them about the coming Messiah and had educated them about prophecy.

(These) “astrologers,” (were) known as dream interpreters. These wealthy priests would have traveled with an entourage for protection as officials from the East. The Greek word magos is taken from the Mede language and means “spiritual advisors” or simply “priests.” They were appointed by Darius over the state religion as priests of Persia, which is modern-day Iran, and served as official advisors to the king. By the time of Jesus’ birth, Persia had been conquered and was being governed by successors to Alexander the Great. It is possible these Magos came from the Mesopotamian region of Seleucia. See also Dan. 2 and 5:11, where the prophet Daniel is given the title of “Chief of the Magio.” It is probable that these Magos were descendants of those who had been taught by Daniel, and because of his prophecy of the Messiah being “cut off,” they may have been able to decipher the date of his birth along with the interpretation of his star rising.

Brian Simmons note with Matthew 2:1

What a Star!

It was no wonder that the Wise Men followed this star. It had a supernatural mind of its own, it seemed. It attracted their attention when it rose in the East and guided them to Palestine. After visiting King Herod, they left for Bethlehem.

And so they left, and on their way to Bethlehem, suddenly the same star they had seen in the East reappeared! Amazed, they watched as it went ahead of them and stopped directly over the place where the child was. And when they saw the star, they were so ecstatic that they shouted and celebrated with unrestrained joy.

Matthew 2:9-10

Joy upon Joy leads to being Overcome in Worship.

Great joy is the hallmark of the Christmas story. The Wise Men were exuberant with joy when they found Jesus. The angels and the shepherds were full of joy, also. The One Who is the Savior of the world was announced and welcomed with the greatest joy! Unfortunately, religion, which prides itself on judgment and condemnation, cannot express joy. Jesus came to change that. His birth introduces us to the Good News of Great Joy!

When they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, they were overcome. Falling to the ground at his feet they worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure boxes full of gifts and presented him with gold, frank-incense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11

David Crabtree
Author: David Crabtree

David and Narelle have spent more than 30 years in Senior Leadership and were the founding senior pastors of DaySpring Church (Sydney) where they led for 27 years. They are currently living in Celina, Texas where they are teachers, preachers, conference speakers, and authors. They have two children with six grandchildren. Life's good! David and Narelle are also members of the Bethel Leaders Network (BLN) and have a role as BLN Builders.

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