THURSDAY (1/7/21)

Hi, my name is Wade and I have been on the elder team for two years. I came to Riverside shortly after it began, when it was meeting at the Keller Park Missionary Church. I have been a home group leader/co-leader for about six years. I was married to a wonderful woman, Pat, who went home four years ago. We have three adult children and four grandchildren.

The passage you are reading today is Matthew 2:1-18.

This is Matthew’s account of the Magi’s journey to visit the new born King of the Jews. More commonly known as the Three Wise Men, their story goes much deeper than a group of men bringing gifts to a new born baby. There is not much documented history about the Magi. Matthew does not tell us how many men were part of the Magi band that traveled to see the King.

Our customs assume there were three based on the three gifts they brought. We know they came from the East but we do not know their actual home country. We know they saw the star which told them the King of the Jews was born and they came to worship him. We know they first went to Jerusalem seeking direction to the location of the new King. It was here they encountered King Herod and he first learned about the new King. The rest, as is said, is history.

The birth of Jesus was revealed to two different groups of people. The first being the shepherds who were awake at night watching their sheep. Shepherds were part of the lowest social group in their society. They spent all their time with their animals ensuring they were safe and caring for their every need. On the night of Jesus’ birth, the angels lit up the sky and announced HIS birth to the shepherds. The second group were the Magi. They saw his star and knew the King had been born. They set out to find this new King so they could worship him.

Unlike the shepherds, we don’t know when they arrived in Bethlehem. Given Herod’s decree to kill all the male babies under two years of age (Mt. 2:16), it must have been some time after the shepherds had been there. Jesus’ birth was announced to the lowest of Jewish society and to a group of non-Jewish men whose religion apparently involved studying the sky for celestial signs of significant events.

  • Why is the announcement of Jesus’ birth to these two groups of men unique and what do we learn about it during Jesus’s ministry?
  • As we approach the season when we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus, how do you respond to God’s revelation in your life?