Wisemen

Harry Buis

READ : Matthew 2:1-6

The event portrayed here probably occurred almost two years after Jesus’ birth. The family is no longer in a stable, but in a house. The fact that later Herod seeks to kill all the children in the area up to two years old would also indicate the passage of time. Wise men, called magi, were scholars who served as the coun- selors of kings. They may have had part of the Old Testament among their books. The Jews had been dispersed to the east when the northern kingdom was exiled by the Assyrians and later the southern kingdom by the Babylonians. In Numbers 24:17 we read, “A star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.”

The magi arrived in Jerusalem looking for a king who had been born recently. This upset Herod, since it threatened his rule. So hecalls in the religious leaders to ask for advice. They knew their Old Testament, but sadly did not live the kind of lives demanded by the teaching of the Old Testament. What a message to us. How impor- tant to know our Bibles well, but it is of little help if we do not respond in obedience to the Word. Head knowledge must lead to obedience. The scholars indicate that Micah 5 predicted the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem. This was the information the magi needed. Too bad the scholars did not also go to Bethlehem.

PRAYER

Father, cause us to be not only hearers of the Word but doers of it, to receive Your blessings. In Jesus’ name. Amen.