2021-01-07 - Messiah and the Maji
God’s hand is in all of this. We don’t know why the star apparently disappeared. But the Magi went to Jerusalem rather than Bethlehem. It may well be that God wanted to announce to the religious leaders that the kingdom of God was at hand, even through He did so through some Gentiles.
But this being accomplished, the star the Magi had been following reappeared and continued on towards Bethlehem. It stopped over the house in which Joseph, Mary, and the baby were living. And so they accomplished their purpose, to worship the long-expected Messiah. Having worshiped Him, they offered up their gifts of gold, of incense, and of myrrh.
As I looked at the meaning of the gifts, I found Keener sees them as being signs of offerings given by the givers to a superior person. He rejects the likelihood of a symbolic understading. He states: “This interpretation demands too much insight from the Magi. The three gifts were simply expensive and not uncommon presents and may have helped finance the trip to Egypt. The word “treasures” probably means “coffers” or “treasure- boxes” in this context.”
The problem with this view is, it ignores the possibility that the Holy Spirit may have been behind the selection. While the wise men may not have understood the implications, that doesn’t change the fact God intended more.
And what might that more have been? We can follow what is generally understood.
All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.