Throughout Advent, let’s look at the people of the story of Christ’s birth. This week: a Wise Man. Here is my take on a possible first person narrative from Matthew 2.
We have just left the place where I, personally, experienced the most significant event in my life! We saw Him, the infant, the child, the true King of Israel. And we gave Him gifts. And we worshipped Him. And we are changed forever.
Let me back up for a minute. My name is Gushnavadar. I am a Magi of the east, from Babylon in Persia. I have two companions with me, one is twenty years my senior, the other is twenty years my junior. They call us “wise men,” and I guess, we are just that, but we are not kings.
Our people go back to the prophet Daniel, who was one of our own. He prophesied about a Messiah. Although Daniel was a Hebrew, we are Gentiles. But we love the same God as the people of Israel. He has given us this unique gift of interpreting dreams. Some also call us astrologers, for we study the stars in the sky. But we do so with a specific purpose and anointing, as we believe they point to what God is doing now and in the future.
Recently, something strange occurred in the night sky… three stars lined up and pointed right to the city of Jerusalem in Palestine. And what was significant about these stars is they were of the constellation Aries, the Ram. Three stars, from a ram, pointing to the city of David?
Ever since King Nebuchadnezzar took the people of Judah into captivity in our home country, we have known of the stories of God’s deliverance of His people. One oft-told account recalls a ram, stuck in a thicket, that God provided as a sacrifice. It was on Mount Moriah there in what is now Jerusalem. The intended sacrifice was Abraham’s son, Isaac. But God had another plan. And we have heard that one day God will deliver all of Abraham’s children, both Jews and Gentiles, by way of a ram, or a lamb.
So, the stars pointed to Jerusalem and the three of us Magi, along with a cavalry of slaves and servants, ventured out to seek the meaning of the stars. You should know that some have called us Magi “king makers” for no king in all of the Orient became royalty without the blessing of our little fraternity. And if the stars were calling out that a new king had arrived, it was our job to sanction his monarchy. Yes, we knew Herod was the “king of the Jews” in Palestine, but that was a title merely bestowed on him by Caesar Augustus so he would have some clout in collecting taxes.
We arrived in Jerusalem several months, and over a thousand miles, after our departure from the East. When Herod heard we were in town looking for a new king he was shaken and irritated. Was his make-shift reign coming to an end? He called for a meeting with us immediately. We told him of the prophesy and the stars. He was familiar with the Ancient Word, but had no knowledge of the night sky pointing us here at this time. He suggested we search the neighboring town of Bethlehem, for his advisors recalled the Biblical text of Micah that says “You, oh Bethlehem, will be the birthplace of my King, who is alive from everlasting ages past…” (Micah 5:2, Living Bible) He told us to return to Jerusalem and let him know if we found this new king so that he might worship the king as well.
Along the way, again we sought the night sky for direction. Another star appeared, and its travel actually stopped and reversed and stopped again… right over a simple peasant home in Bethlehem.
We approached cautiously. A carpenter appeared in the doorway, amazed at our large caravan. Could this be the man we were seeking? He assured us, no, he was but a simple man. However, his son… his son…
The three of us entered the home and immediately we knew. We just knew. His mother was radiant. The child, now some six months old, sat up in her lap. He was not the King we expected, but He was most certainly the King that the God of the Hebrews had anointed. We were instantly humbled in His presence. We offered Him gifts we had brought, although honestly they seemed insignificant… the gold, the frankincense and myrrh. And we bowed before Him, no we fell before Him and worshipped… worshipped… worshipped….
We stayed as long we could. Our lives and hearts changed forever. Transformed really.
We are heading back to Persia, by a different way. God has told us in a dream that we must protect the new King and not tell Herod. Not really sure what we will do once we get home. I know we cannot merely go back and live the life we had been living. No, it will be different now. We sought out the new King, and we found Him! We found Him!
And we will tell the people of Judah living in our land that they, too, must seek out and find their new King! And if they let Him into their life, they will be completely transformed as well.