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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Gentile Magi – Part 2


        Part 1 of this teaching on the Magi can be seen on my website: sandrakingministries.com. 

At the time of the magi’s journey, many Jews were coming to Jerusalem from all over to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. The magi had seen a heavenly light (star)that revealed to them that Messiah had been born. As the magi were descending the Mount of Olives, the star stopped above the temple in Jerusalem. When the Magi entered Jerusalem, they asked, “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 Many of the Jews as well as the religious leaders (rabbis, priests, scribes, Sanhedrin Council, Pharisees and Sadducees) ignored the previous revelation of the Jewish shepherds regarding Messiah being born. The religious leaders thought that God would never bypass them and give revelation knowledge to lowly shepherds. Now they will reject the words of the gentile magi. The religious leaders wouldn’t even go to Bethlehem to see the prophesied Messiah. This was the beginning of their rejection of Jesus. Their pride had blinded them to the truth. God was opening the door of Light to these religious leaders, but they chose to remain in darkness. “He came to His own and His own did not receive Him.” John 1:11 Jesus called them “blind leaders of the blind.” Matthew 15:14 

Herod 

When the magi asked about the “King of the Jews,” king Herod was troubled and “all Jerusalem with him. In Herod’s mind, he was king of the Jews! Herod was not born a Jew. He was an Edomite, a descent of Esau, not Jacob’s seed through whom Messiah was to come. For political purposes, Herod had converted to Judaism but was not a true Jew. He loved power and riches. So much so that he was willing to kill hundreds of babies to preserve that power and wealth. The Jewish religious leaders also wanted to preserve their power, prestige and wealth.  
    Herod gathered all the chief priests and scribes to ask where the Messiah was to be born according to scripture. They quoted Micah 5:2. But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah…….Out of you shall come forth a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.” Obviously, the magi were not familiar with Micah’s prophecy.    
            Herod then sought information from the magi about the exact time the star had appeared. Herod, who is being led by his fleshly desires and as such is a type and shadow of Satan, is plotting. Herod sought answers from both the Jews and the gentile magi. After getting his answer regarding the birth of Christ from the Jewish religious leaders, Herod sent the magi to Bethlehem in search of the Child. When they found Him, Herod wanted the magi to return to him and report where they had found Jesus “so I may come and worship Him.”  Herod did not want to worship Jesus. He was being deceitful in order to trick the magi into coming back and reporting Jesus’ location so Herod could destroy Him. This is the way the devil works -- through humans. Satan is the one who destroys, is cunning and evil. Jesus blesses and gives eternal life. Because Jesus and the devil are spiritual beings, they need fleshly bodies to work through on earth. The Bible says that our flesh is weak. (see Matthew 25:41) Satan will work through our fleshly ways to accomplish his goal. That’s why Jesus told us to “Watch and pray.” Herod had no interest in worshiping Jesus. He was threatened by Jesus and wants to destroy Jesus. God is unfolding His plan.  
The magi went on their way. The guiding light (star) had gone away but returned to guide these wise men “until it came and stood over the place where the Child was.” The shepherds were instructed to go to a manger in Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus, but the gentile magi were guided by a heavenly light to Jesus’ house indicating that He was now a toddler 
When the magi came to the house of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, they fell to the ground and worshiped Jesus. Followers of Christ are to make their hearts the dwelling place of Jesus. We must come to His House and worship Him. After bowing down to worship Jesus, the magi gave Jesus very valuable gifts fit for a King. It was not unusual for foreign royalty to come and give gifts to a king who was so great that kings and queens of other countries would come to give homage to him. An example of this in 2 Chronicles 9 when the Queen of Sheba took a long journey to meet king Solomon and bring him gifts. She came with 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices (frankincense) and precious stones. These were the most valuable things in biblical territory at the time. The Queen of Sheba had heard of Solomon’s fame, so she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Solomon answered all her questions about all she had on her mind. When she saw the wisdom of Solomon, the palace he built, the food on his table and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed. There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon, and the gold was the purest in the land. ( 2 Chronicles 9:1-9)  King Jesus is worthy of our best. To honor earthly kings in biblical times, earthly gifts were brought to honor them, but Jesus gives us spiritual gifts to use to bring others to Him and prepare them for His spiritual Kingdom.  
Solomon, the son of David, was the king of peace and wisdom. Solomon in Hebrew – shalom – means “peace.”  Solomon is a foreshadowing of Jesus, who is also called the son of David and is the King of peace that passes all understanding. He is wisdom personified. Jesus the Messiah is the promised son of David who would have a great spiritual kingdom without end (eternal).  Psalm 72 describes Jesus. “All kings will bow down to Him and all nations will serve Him …… May gold from Sheba be given him. May His name endure forever. All nations will be blessed through Him, and they will call him Blessed.”  From the image of the Queen of Sheba and other kings bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and precious jewels to king Solomon, we see a comparison of the magi bowing down to worship Jesus and bringing him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

       (to be continued --- Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh) 

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