Week of January 6 Day 3

Day 3 Read: Matthew 2:9-12

After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.  

Reflect: How did the wise men respond to seeing the Christ child? How did they alter their original plans they had made with Herod?

Consider: The Magi do not recognize Herod’s purposes at first but are later warned in a dream just as Joseph had been (1:20–21). Like Joseph they obey God’s words (v. 12). Meanwhile, the star guides them to Bethlehem.29 This is the first time the star is actually said to move. The text leaves open the question of whether or not it had so moved previously. If it had not, this could explain why the Magi had managed to get only as far as Jerusalem. They may have seen the star above Israel and assumed that its ruler would be born in the capital. But regardless of how much the star had traveled, its motion here seems to require a supernatural event. Various attempts to link the star with different astronomical phenomena, especially for purposes of dating (e.g., a comet or a conjunction of planets), prove interesting but are probably irrelevant.[1]

Respond: Both Herod and the wise men had essentially the same facts about the star and the Messiah. Why is intellectual information not enough to cause us to embrace Christ? What else is needed?

[1] Craig Blomberg, Matthew, vol. 22, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 65.