Christmas Voices of
The Magi and King Herod

Magi from the East Magiís Monologue
Matthew 2:1-2

We first saw it about a year ago. It is magnificent Ö shining brightly in the night sky. Ploughing through numerous scrolls and charts, we concluded that the star heralds the birth of an extraordinary child.

We decided to follow it as it moves across the sky Ö travelling by night and sleeping by day. It seems to have disappeared near Jerusalem and thatís why we have been asking around, ďWhere is he who has been born king of the Jews that we may worship him?Ē But we were met with troubled faces.

Herodís Monologue
Matthew 2:1-8

What? There are magi from the East in Jerusalem asking for a newborn King of the Jews? Why is there talk about another king when Iím on the throne? For years, the Jews had hoped for a Messiah Ö a deliverer. Could it be that the Messiah is born? Do the magi know something that I donít?

I asked the chief priests and experts of the law where the Messiah would be born. And they said Bethlehem, according to Micah, the prophet (Mic. 5:2). I told the magi privately the location and asked them to report back where they found him Ö on the pretext that I too would go and worship him.

Magiís Monologue (2)
Matthew 2:7-12

After our meeting with Herod, we went on our way to Bethlehem. We were so happy and excited when the star appeared once again and went ahead of us Ö guiding us to the very place where the child was.

We went into the house and saw the child with his mother. We bowed down and worshipped him. Opening our treasures, we presented our gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.

But God warned us in a dream not to go back to Herod. So we went home by another route. Along the way, we heard troubling news from Bethlehem.

Herodís Monologue (2)
Matthew 2:16-18

Where are they? Something is wrong! They should have returned by now.

What? They had left Bethlehem and did not return to Jerusalem! Did they find the newborn Messiah? Does anyone know where in Bethlehem is the baby?

Go kill all the newborn males in Bethlehem. No, wait Ö the magi said that the star first appeared about a year ago; just to be safe, go kill all the baby boys up to two years old in Bethlehem and its vicinity. Oh, clever me!

For Reflection

Jesus did die but not as a child and not by the hands of this Herod. He died ... the just for the unjust so that He might bring us to God (1 Pet. 3:18). When He died, He was taking the punishment for every sin that you and I and everyone in the world has ever done. Jesus knew that His death on the cross is the only way that we could be forgiven of our sins (Heb. 9:22b). They buried His body in a cave. But on the third day, He came back to life and more than 500 people saw Him at the same time (1 Cor. 15:3-6)! And without dying again, He went back to Heaven, where He is today. Because Jesus died for you, your sins can be forgiven.

Herod, the chief priests and law experts were not interested to travel four and a half miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to see the child. In fact, Herod was more concerned that the presence of the Christ will interfere with his power, position and lifestyle. Are you like Herod in that you want to know, but are not actually looking for the One who will save you from your sins? Or are you like the magi who travelled many miles from the east to Jerusalem to seek Jesus? And finding him, they submit and worship him in faith.

Christmas Voices: Mary and Joseph | The Shepherds | The Magi and King Herod | Who said these words?
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Alan's Gleanings | Copyright © October 2012 by Alan S.L. Wong