As you begin a new year, what will you be looking for? Will your eyes be open for new ideas or challenges the Lord might put in your path?
I think about the magi who came from the east to find the Christ child. I have so many questions about them. Who were they? From what part of the “east” did they come? How did they know about a newborn baby, particularly a king of the Jews? Why did they even care—care enough to make the long trek probably through desert to find him?
In studying different scholarly ideas, the ones that make the most sense to me is that these magi were more like scientific astrologers who made serious study of the stars. Since they had knowledge of Jewish ways and awareness of the prophecy of a coming Messiah, it seems reasonable that they may have been descendants of those who knew the captured Jews who brought to Persia in Daniel’s day.
One thought is that they knew the names of Jewish constellations that represented things like the Lion of Judah or a constellation that represented the righteous one, the Virgin, or the Lamb. Perhaps they had come to recognize these and noted their locations in the heavens.
Perhaps, before the birth of Jesus, the magi began to notice a change in location of these constellations. They were moving closer to each other. Finally, one one night, they had joined together to form one bright star. Putting all this together, they surmised that this meant the promised Messiah had been born.
The main point here is that they faithfully watched and anticipated. So sure of this, they decided to make the trip to Israel to find the child, even worship him.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2
As they discover that the prophecy says Bethlehem is the designated place of birth, they head that way and are delighted to see the star appear to them once again. Such an affirmation.
They eventually find the one they have been looking for. By this time, he is a child not a baby. He is found in a house not a manger. Their first inclination is to fall down and worship him.
All of this happened because they were looking, studying, thinking about the signs given them by God.
I ask my question again. What are you looking for? If we are serious about God’s leadership in our lives, we must be looking, searching for His signs, seeking His heart. And that, my friends, is why I offer this blog to you each week, that you might join me in
Searching His Word, Seeking His Heart.
May it be so for us all. Happy New Year!
~ Joyce ~