The Wise Seek to Worship Him
The birth of Jesus who is the Savior of the world was announced to the world in terms supernatural. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, KJV) The means of pronouncement and the observances and experiences of those involved in the broadcast cannot be explained in mere natural terms. Not only did angels appear to Jewish shepherds but a heavenly phenomenon, that caught the attention of learned Gentile observers, was used to draw those Gentiles to the City of David to worship One whom they would hail as King of the Jews. They were able to predict our Lord’s birth and have been numbered among His earliest worshippers (the gifts themselves an act and type of worship).
Concerning the gold, frankincense, and myrrh, Adam Clarke comments: “Some will have these gifts to be emblematic of the Divinity, regal office, and manhood of Christ. They offered him incense as their God; gold as their king; and myrrh, as united to a human body, subject to suffering and death. The gold was probably a very providential supply, as on it, it is likely, they subsisted while in Egypt.”
The so-called Magi were evidently important persons in their own right. If Herodotus is correct, these men were Medes and were of the learned and priestly caste among the followers of Zoroaster. That would have made them worshippers of only one God and they would have, therefore, rejected polytheism and idolatry. “The simple creed and high morality, which Zoroastrianism in its purest form professed, were well adapted to prepare its faithful disciples to receive a further revelation, and we may reasonably believe that the wise men who had been thus guided to worship the new-born king of the Jews had been faithful to the light afforded to them, for ‘in every nation he that feareth Him (God), and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to Him’ Acts 10:35 (E.W. Maunder, ISBE). Egyptian pharaohs and Babylonian and Medo-Persian monarchs surrounded themselves with wise men. “Originating from the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, the Magi were religious priests, Chaldeans, physicians, philosophers, astronomers, astrologers, soothsayers, in short, the brain trust of their kingdom.” (Tom Stewart, What Saith the Scripture?) Such are those who were seeking to worship the King of the Jews.
(This is the first of four excerpts from Marty’s article “Wisemen, A Star and Somebody’s Daughter“ which was published in SEEC Magazine [Marty and Kathy’s ministry magazine].)