Good morning, friends! I’m taking a short break from the Gospel of Matthew series this week, as I am:
- On tour with 1:11 Ministries, celebrating the birth of Jesus through our production ADORE HIM; and
- Releasing a novel today! Today is the day Book 3 in The Prophet Trilogy, BELOVED, enters the wider world. I’d be honored if you checked it out.
If you need to catch up on the Matthew series, today is a great day to do it. But in keeping with the season, I thought this would be a good time to revisit one post in particular: the arrival of the Magi.
As I wrote there:
We celebrate it every Christmas, but the arrival of the Magi is one of the most strange, mysterious, and prophetically fraught events in the birth narrative of Jesus Christ. There’s so much Matthew never explains about these men: he calls them “magoi” in Greek, Magi or wise men as it’s sometimes translated. They were Gentiles “from the east,” who claimed they had seen a star rise that announced the birth of the king of the Jews, and they had come to worship him.
On every possible level, this is a strange story. Like everything else in Matthew, its surface simplicity lies over a reality full of riddles: this is layered, and the deeper we go, the stranger and more wonderful and revelatory the story becomes . . .
To me, the Magi are a reminder that much of reality is a riddle, that the truth is something deeper and more wonderful than we can necessarily see on the surface. They remind me that to understand what is in front of me, I need more than the sight of my eyes. I need divine revelation and guidance, imperfect though my understanding of it may be, the kind that comes from Daniel, the kind that comes from following a star.
The infant in Bethlehem did not look like a king when the Magi found him, yet they recognized him for what he was. Today the King still chooses to cloak himself, to remain hidden and gentle so that people may seek him, find him, come to him. We too need divine sight to see who he truly is.
And as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you see in the story of the Magi? Leave a comment or come join the conversation on Facebook.