“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘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.’"
Bethlehem, was a small town situated roughly 5 miles south of Jerusalem. It sits on a ridge over 2,000 feet above sea level and is the birthplace of our Savior. We already know that shepherds were on their way to visit the infant said to be the King of the Jews. Here we read that magi, led by a star as the shepherds were, came to see the baby Jesus. Magi were known as ‘sages’; men revered for their great wisdom and judgment. Perhaps they came together or perhaps they came from separately from different countries, but it doesn’t matter for their reason for coming was singular, to pay honor and respect to the infant Jesus.
Since the magi were coming to worship Jesus they bore expensive gifts in acknowledgment of the future king. The gifts are seen as symbols of Christ’s identity and what he was expected to accomplish in his life. The gift of gold symbolized royalty, for Christ was sent to be the king over God’s people. Frankincense* was offered as a gift honoring his deity. Myrrh** was a spice used to anoint a body for burial after death.
Everything is done for a reason and everything that took place from the beginning of time was choreographed to bring about the result that the Lord knew needed to take place. God knew what he was doing back then and knows what he is doing now. Never doubt God or his ability to provide for you everything you are in need of. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
The Living Translation has been used in this devotional.
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible, Tyndale House Publishers.
HISTORICAL NOTE: The land of Israel was divided into 4 political districts & several lesser territories. Judea was to the south, Samaria in the middle, Galilee to the north and Idumea to the southwest. Bethlehem of Judea (also called Judah – Matt 2:6) had been prophesied as the Messiah’s birthplace (Micah 5:2). Jerusalem was also in Judea & was the seat of government for Herod the Great, king over all four political districts.
* An aromatic gum resin obtained from African and Asian trees of the genus Boswellia, used as incense and in perfumes.
** An aromatic, bitter gum resin obtained from certain Arabian and E African woody plants and used chiefly in making incense and perfumes.