We hear the same story of Christ’s birth at Christmas service every year.
And every time, there’s always something new we can take away from it. From my own personal time in Scripture, I’ve received a new perspective on the Magi and their significance in the story.
They provide an interesting role in their presence at the celebration of the Jewish Messiah. And I hope to show the 5 special lessons they provide to us, helping to make your Christmas celebration that much more special.
1. Fellow Heirs
God didn’t choose Jewish high-priests to come rejoice Christ’s birth. He chose shepherds and Magi (magicians and astrologers) to be present and to worship.
And the Magi were gentiles from a foreign land. It was a prophesy of what Christ’s mission was going to be on earth, gathering people from far and wide for the Kingdom of God.
In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:4-7)
The Magi didn’t send others to present gifts and to worship Christ. They understood the significance of Jesus’ birth and traveled a great distance to witness Him.
They took some time to get there because Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were no longer in a stable, but a house. This emphasizes that being in Jesus’ presence is worth our time and effort, regardless of our status, wealth, and importance.
And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)
The Magi sacrificed their own safety to see Christ. By notifying King Herod, they didn’t understand the dire consequences to themselves and to Jesus.
For Herod was a jealous King, who tried to remove the threat to his throne by ordering infant genocide. But God protected both the Magi and Christ by warning them to take certain paths of escape, proving that God provides protection to those seeking Christ.
Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they [Magi] departed for their own country another way. (Matthew 2:12)
The Child wasn’t able to give anything of great wisdom, prophesy, or miracles to the Magi. The Magi, instead, humbled themselves and gave gifts to show honor.
So we can conclude that they were wise, in part, because of their humility. And rightly so, as it is expressed in Scripture among some of the most prized material possessions during that time (gold, frankincense, and myrrh).
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Philippians 2:3)
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)
The Magi gave expensive gifts worthy of a King. No matter the expense, they gave these gifts to a Child that had no immediate use for them.
But just as Mary Magdalene honored Christ with her expensive perfume, we notice that Christ is worthy of anything we hold valuable and precious in this world. We place Him above and beyond everything by giving Him the best of what we produce and cherish.
Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; (Proverbs 3:9)
Learning From The Magi
We learn from the Magi that there is more to the story of Christ’s birth. That we are to honor Jesus by giving our time, attention, and most valuable gifts with humble recognition.
And that Christ has chosen us to be co-heirs. Gentiles, from all nations and backgrounds, have been given access to the Kingdom of God and the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ.
How amazing is this?! I hope these lessons add more meaning to your Christmas celebration, and inspire you to recognize Christ as these wise men had so very long ago!
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Post Question: Have you learned anything else from the Magi? Comment below!