Matthew’s Gospel tells the story of “wise men from the East” who came to worship Jesus and brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. I was doing some research this morning on the “Magi” as these men were called.
I was initially thrown for a loop as Wikipedia cites numerous discrepancies in the traditional Christmas telling of the Nativity. I’ve known for years that Scripture doesn’t say there were only three and it doesn’t look like their visit took place at Jesus’ birth like the shepherds, but after Jesus was a little older.
But these men, who in my mind were kings from afar who came to show honor to a newborn king, are actually thought to be “astrologer-priests”, followers of Zoroaster. The Greek word here even ties to other Scriptural accounts of “sorcery” and connects to the word we use now as magic. WHAT? I don’t get it. Astrology, Magic, Sorcery? These are things which in my traditional background are considered far from God. Certainly, these men who bowed at the feet of Jesus were not involved in those affairs.
And even as I’m sitting on my couch, confused, it becomes crystal clear. God can and will use ANYTHING to lead people to Himself. I have a friend who felt like he met God over a physics textbook. I grew up in a religious tradition and knew God from an early age, but He used a girl’s t-shirt in a mini-mart during college to get me back on a path of pursuing Him completely. What did He use in your life?
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen…” – Romans 1:20