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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Gentile Magi – Matthew 2:1-14





An angel told the Jewish shepherds about the Messiah’s coming and gave them a sign, but a star (heavenly light) led the gentile magi to Jesus. In other words, God revealed the coming of Messiah to both the Jews and the Gentiles, to the humble and poor, the wise and rich. Balaam prophesied of Jesus and His star in Numbers 24:4-9; 17. “A star shall come forth from Jacob, a scepter shall rise from Israel …… One from Jacob shall have dominion.” Vv17; 19  At the time of Balaam, the Israelites had been taken captive in Babylon. Babylon at the time was part of the Persian Empire. Philo says that the magi studied the works of nature to seek truth.

Daniel’s Prophetic Words About Messiah

The Israelites during Daniel’s time had been taken captive by Babylon. There were thousands of Jews who worshiped the true God in Babylon so they probably introduced the scriptures to many in Babylon including the wise men. Daniel, the Jew, and the “magicians” (gentile, wise men) served together in king Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. Jesus wants the Jews and Gentiles who love and follow Him to rule and reign in His kingdom that He is establishing on earth as it is in heaven. These wise men were seekers of truth and had heard of Daniel’s prophecies of the Jewish Messiah’s coming. They also saw Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s devotion to Israel’s God.
One of Daniel’s God-given gifts was interpretation of dreams. Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams that the wise men were unable to interpret, so Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and the chief over all the wise men of Babylon. (see Daniel 2:48-49) God rewarded Daniel for his faith and faithfulness.
Daniel’s prophecy was no doubt passed down over the years through the wise men (Magi) to future wise menOver the years, the Babylonian wise men would be looking for a sign of the Messiah’s coming. 
God’s appointed time has come. He will reveal His Only Begotten Son -- Jesus to the Jewish shepherds and the Gentile wise men.

Heavenly Light – Star

The gentile magi left Babylon for God’s Promised Land to seek God’s Son Jesus – the Messiah – which means the Anointed One or Chosen One. It was a long journey but one they felt was worth taking. Those who follow Jesus also travel a long journey to Him that is worth taking with Him. Our guiding Light, Jesus, will transform our fleshly ways into His ways in order to establish His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Why did God include the gentiles? God is no respecter of persons and wants that none should perish. No nation, tribe or tongue is outside of Christ’s reach. He created them all. Only those who reject Jesus remain outside of His reach because of their own doing, not His.
 The glory of God flooded the hills around the Jewish shepherds who were protecting and caring for the sheep in the pastures. These Jewish shepherds knew the true God of Israel. The gentile Magi, however, had a heavenly light guide them in the darkness as they sought Jesus. They were in spiritual darkness because they did not yet believe in Jesus, the Light of heaven and earth. They were seeking Him. Today, wise ones still seek Him. Revelation 21:23 says, And the city (New, holy, spiritual Jerusalem) has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. In other words, Jesus reflects the glory of God from the throne shining forth its Light. Therefore, there is no need of the sun and moon for light.
These gentile seekers of the truth followed God’s guiding light to Jerusalem -- God’s holy city in the land God had promised to Abraham and his descendants.  The magi though that the Jews would be excited about Messiah’s birth, but they weren’t. God is no respecter of persons. He wants both Jews and Gentiles to seek His saving grace and truth in Jesus. He is God’s Heavenly Light in the heavens. He is the Light of the world. John 8:12: “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of life.” While He walked on earth, Jesus offered salvation, truth and enlightenment to both Jews and Gentiles. He came to the Jew first because Israel was the nation God chose to be a light to the world by revealing the true God to the world. However, all humans including the Jews are sinful and cannot reveal the fullness of God’s light and truth. The Jews would be a dim light because of their human sinful nature until the full Light of the world came in Jesus Christ. Gentile believers in Christ are also a dim light because of their sinful nature. Jesus is the fullness of God’s light and truth because He was and remained sinless (holy) even in His earthly body. Only He is worthy of all honor

Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?”

  When the magi reached Jerusalem, they asked the Jews, “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 2:2 These magi didn’t seek a Savior, they sought the King. Jesus was born to be King. He was also born to die on the cross for the sin of the whole world. He is King of all kings and Lord of all lords. He is also the Savior of all. Until we make Him our Savior, He cannot be our King. Jesus had to atone for the sin of the whole world so those who receive His atonement can become the righteousness of God in Him. It is only through Christ that humanity can enter the holy, spiritual realm.
 Unfortunately, none of the Jewish religious leaders or Jewish community could answer the magi’s question regarding the King of the Jews. The religious leaders were leading those God entrusted in their care astray because of their pride and desire to keep their positions of power. They heaped regulations and religious ritual upon those they were meant to teach the truth. They had also used their chosenness to set the Jews apart from others rather than unite all who sought the true God. They strove for worldly power, honor and riches which spiritually blinded them to the Truth. Jesus is the Truth – the whole Truth. All Truth leads to Him. Jesus came to the Jew first because the Jews were God’s chosen nation to be His light to the world. They were given the oracles of God until Jesus came to fulfill all the Older Testament scriptures including the Law so we could be the righteousness of God through our belief in Jesus and His righteousness and live eternally with our Heavenly Father in the spiritual realm.
As the Light of the world, Jesus will enlighten us about Him and His Heavenly (spiritual) Father through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

                                      (next week: Herod and the Magi) 

If you wish to see previous teachings regarding the shepherds and the magi who sought Jesus in Matthew 2, go to my website: sandrakingministries.com.

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