What do we know?
Herod recognized them as being important people.
The East meant Persia (Modern-Day Iran and Afghanistan).
Magi means wisemen, magistrate.
Daniel was a magi, the head magi. Magi were also scholars, legal minds, scientists.
The ones in Matthew were wise enough to seek Jesus.
They were gentiles.
They followed through on their seeking of Jesus even though the journey was fraught with danger and expense.
"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." Matthew 12:1-2
Star means something in the sky that was extraordinary. Possibly it appeared as a pillar of light over the house where Jesus was when the wisemen got to Bethlehem.
The journey the wisemen took was anywhere from 500 to 1000 miles.
Dangerous journey: bandits, desert conditions.
They would have had lots of people with them.
They had to wholly believe Jesus was the promised king to take such a journey!
In Jerusalem they enountered hostility toward Jesus from Herod and indifference from the religious leaders. They still continued on.
Herod was a tyrant. He killed his mother-in-law, a brother-in-law, his wife and three of his own sons!
Magi were probably expecting a celebration of the king's birth. Instead they saw indifference.
3 "When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born."
It was six miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. The chief priests didn't even bother to go check out the wisemen's story.
GOLD -- symbolizes royalty
FRANKINCENSE -- symbolizes worship. It is the incense used in worship.
MYRRH -- used to embalm bodies. Symbolizes death.
All three pertained to Jesus!
These were expensive and special gifts.
The wisemen followed through:
-- on going
-- on worshipping
-- on giving.
"And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route." Matthew 2:12
This was no small thing to do. As desert dwellers they would have planned their trip out specifically to get access to water and safety regularly along the way. To change that plan was a dangerous thing. But they did it to protect Jesus.
There are 3 different types of people:
The Herods -- hostile to Jesus
The religious leaders -- indifferent to Jesus
The Magi -- true followers of Jesus
Which one are you?
We are on a journey ourselves. Jesus is either Lord of all in your life or Lord of nothing in your life. We are either for or against HIm.