The “Tuned In” Magi. Matthew 2:1-12
“7) Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8) And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9) And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10) When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11)And they came into the house and saw the child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshipped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12) And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.” Matthew‬ ‭2:7-12‬ ‭
These magi stand in stark contrast to Herod the king. They were “tuned in” to what God was doing. Approximately two years earlier, they saw a star that indicated the birth of the King of the Jews. They gathered their treasures and followed the leading of the star.
Scholars are divided over the star. Some view it as planets lining up, others point to an angel. It is not uncommon for angels to be called stars in Scripture as in Revelation 12:4.
I tend to lean toward angelic intervention because of the specific guidance to the house where the young family was staying. The star pointed to the exact house where Mary and Jesus were lodging. There was no guess work.
The trip by the magi from the Far East to Bethlehem stands out as one of the most significant short-term mission trips in the Bible. Here are twelve lessons we can learn from them.
They were “tuned in” and open to what God wanted to do through them. They were obedient to follow the leading God had given them. They understood that the star meant the King of the Jews had been born. Upon arriving in Bethlehem, they asked appropriate questions. (Vs 2) The announcement that they came prepared to worship the infant King indicates they understood His Divine nature. (Vs 2) They reported truthfully to Herod about the time the star appeared. (Vs 7) They followed the star to the exact house where Jesus and the baby were staying. (Vs 9) They rejoiced exceedingly as they continued to follow Gods leading. They found joy in serving God. ( Vs 10) They were the first to recognize and worship Jesus as the King of the Jews. (Vs 11) They presented gifts to Jesus that may have helped finance the young families flight to Egypt and eventual lodging in Nazareth. ( Vs 11 … If it’s Gods will… it’s Gods bill!) They obeyed Gods leading in a subsequent dream to return to their own country by another way without returning to Herod. (Vs 12) They completed their mission and may have helped pave the way for the eventual spread of the gospel to the east. (History tells us the Apostle Thomas carried the gospel all the way to India)
I admit; there is plenty of mystery surrounding the magi, but they illustrate how God can work through people who are “tuned in” to Him and willing to follow His leading. This is especially true today in this age of the filling of the Holy Spirit. Christians should be “tuned in” and ready to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global