Today’s passage: Matthew 2:1-12
- These Gentile wise men (It never says how many there were…) came from the East and were prominent, high-ranking officials.
- In Numbers 24:16-17, Balaam prophecies of a star coming from Jacob. In Isaiah 60:1-6, it was prophesied that the nations would come to the light of the people of God. The Jewish people saw these as Messianic prophecies.
- The first recorded worshipers of Jesus Christ in the New Testament were Gentiles.
- Herod obviously was concerned that there would be a threat to his power and reign.
- The religious leaders who were summoned by Herod could tell him where the Messiah was to be born (Micah 5:2). But, they never went to Jerusalem to investigate the report of His birth.
- It is believed the gifts from the wise men carried special significance. (We need to be very careful when finding figurative meaning in the Scriptures. But these pictures are in keeping with the theme of Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus Christ thus far.)
- Royalty: Gold was a fitting gift for a King.
- Divinity: Frankincense was stored in the chamber of the sanctuary and was used in worship of God.
- Humanity: Myrrh was used and an ointment for many things. Jesus was given the gift as a child, at the cross (Mark 15:23) and was anointed with it for His burial (John 19:38-42).
Questions to consider:
- What was different about the responses of the people who heard about the coming of the Christ? (The Wise Men, Herod, the Jewish religious leaders)
- What might have been the motivations for the responses of Herod and the religious leaders?
- What is the right response? What is the only right thing to do when we learn about Jesus? Why?