This teaching was given by pastor Barry Forder on 20th December as part of our Christmas 2020 series.
Last week we looked at why God would send seemingly obscure shepherds to see Jesus at the time of His birth.
Far from being a random choice, we noted that the shepherds on this hills around Bethlehem had a very specific job – namely to inspect lambs that would be later offered in sacrifice 8 miles away in Jerusalem. They came to confirm that Jesus was indeed the perfect Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world.
With that in mind, we now ask the question: Why Magi?
Why would God choose to send a group of people hundreds of miles, from another county? More to the point, why would a group of people from another country agree to travel hundreds of miles, bringing gifts, to see a small child?
In this study we look at the truth behind the tradition.
- Who were the Magi?
- What significance did they have?
- How many of them were there really?
- Why does the world believe there were only 3?
- What evidence do we have that they actually visited Bethlehem?
- When did they arrive in Jerusalem?
- Why was Herod and all Jerusalem shaken at their arrival?
What few people seem to have realised was that some 600 years before, Daniel, whilst in Babylon, had been made the head of this Persian priestly group known as ‘Magi’. Seemingly, Daniel revealed some secrets to them that had been handed down for generations – secrets concerning a king who was to be born ‘king of the Jews’.
All the more poignant is the fact that, because of their supposed ability to see the future, one of the Magi’s principle responsibilities was to appoint kings.
Just as the shepherds arrived to confirm that Jesus was the perfect Lamb, the Magi arrived to appoint Jesus as the King of the Jews.
Around 600 before they arrived, the ‘crown’ of Israel had literally been taken to Babylon as the final king of Israel – Zedekiah – was taken away captive by Nebuchadnezzar. Now, the Magi bring the crown back and appoint the one whom their chief (Daniel) had declared would have an everlasting dominion!
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.
The PowerPoint slides used in this study are available for free download.