To begin with;
We’d like to welcome you back to our study of the book of Matthew! Over the next several weeks, we will be diving into each chapter of this powerful gospel, examining the teachings and stories of Jesus as recorded by the apostle Matthew. As we explore the rich depths of Matthew’s account, we will encounter
Jesus’ call to follow Him as His disciples, His teachings on the kingdom of heaven, and His miraculous works of power. Along the way, we will be challenged to apply Jesus’ words to our own lives and to follow Him more closely as His followers. So grab your Bible, a pen, highlighter and some paper, and let’s get started on this journey of discovery!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity you have given us to learn more about You. Guide us in the direction that You want us to go so to gain a closer understanding of who You, while gaining a unbreakable relationship like never before. Give us understanding to see, and understand, and grasp the message that You have for us. In Jesus Name Amen
As we continue our study of Matthew we will cover 2:1-12! We will be exploring the the wise men after the birth of Jesus Christ, as recorded by the apostle Matthew. We will review the events leading up to Jesus’ birth, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, and the reactions of those who were present. We will also contemplate the significance of Jesus’ birth and what it does for our lives as believers. As we study this passage, we will be challenged to think about why we should know Jesus and follow Him more closely as His disciples. You’ll want grab your Bible, highlighter, a pen and some paper, to record what you learn on this journey of discovery!
In this passage from Matthew 2:1-2 we are told about the visit of the magi to Jesus after His birth. We see in this passage, the magi, or wise men, were astrologers who came from the East following a star to Jerusalem, they were seeking the newborn king of the Jews.
Who were the Magi
So who were the magi, also known as the wise men or the Three Kings, were a group of astrologers or wise men from the East mentioned in the New Testament. Best known for their visit to Jesus after He was born as we are told in the Gospel of Matthew. We are told the magi followed a star to Jerusalem, trying to find the newborn king of the Jews.
Upon arriving in Jerusalem, they went to King Herod and asked him where the king of the Jews had been born. They were then directed to Bethlehem, when they arrived they found Jesus and worshiped Him, giving him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
There is a lot of discussion among biblical scholars about who and how many magi were. Some think that the magi were kings or members of a royal court, while others think they were scholars or priests. Some think that there were three magi, because of the three gifts that were given to Jesus. Some believe that there could have been more or less than three.
Even though there is no concrete information about the magi, they are still revered as important figures in the Christmas story. They are usually depicted as wise and devoted followers of Jesus.
When King Herod heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked them where the Christ would be born. Matthew 2:3-4 WEB
In Matthew 2:3-4 When Herod heard of the birth of this king, he became disturbed and called together the chief priests and scribes of the law to ask them where Christ was to be born. Most historical commentaries agree that when he called together the chief priests and scribes it was the heads of the 24 classes of priests that were created by David in 1 Chronicles 24. The scribes were those who studied and kept track of the law in the bible.
When the magi arrived in Jerusalem we can see people from all over had heard about the birth of the king of the Jews and they were excited to find and worship him. The magi had come a long way facing significant danger so they could find the Messiah, demonstrating their faith and determination. With their arrival it emphasizes the differences between the faith of the magi and the fear and skepticism of King Herod and the religious leaders.
Herod, being upset when he heard of the birth of the king of the Jews, saw this as a potential threat to his rule. He had heard the prophecies about the coming of the Messiah because of this he was anxious to find and eliminate potential rivals to his throne. We see King Herod’s fear and skepticism was further demonstrated when he called the chief priests and teachers of the law asking them where Christ was to be born.
God’s Road Block
With the conclusion of this chapter we see Herod was trying desperately to find the king, Jesus, knowing the prophecy that was given in Micah 5:2. Herod gave instructions to the magi to find the baby and report back to him so he could “worship him.” But God knowing all things, Psalm 139:4, gave the magi direction through a dream and warned them not to go back to Herod. God knew what was in Herods heart, knowing exactly what Herod was planning to do.
Getting to Know Him
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