Why the Magi Worshipped Him
The wise men or kings are mentioned in the Christmas story at this time every year. Have you ever really thought much about who the magi were who followed the star to find Jesus, the Messiah?
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him.
– Matthew 2:10-11 ESV
They were known as magicians, astronomers and astrologers, natural scientists and perhaps even kingmakers. They fell down and worshipped Him. That’s a pretty remarkable statement considering who they were.
When you know who Jesus is, you want to worship Him.
When you look up the word magi in the Greek, you find that it has its roots in the Babylonian and Persian languages. Many biblical scholars believe that these men were the legacy of Daniel, who had significantly influenced both Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus. The prophets the Magi could have had access to through Daniel would include Micah, Isaiah, and the seer Balaam. A theme woven through many of these prophecies that the Magi would’ve picked up on:
- But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity (Micah 5:2 ESV).
- For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore (Isaiah 9:7 ESV).
- In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever (Daniel 2:44 ESV).
- His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him (Daniel 7:22 ESV).
These Magi understood the kingdom of which these prophets spoke was everlasting, and their ruler was eternal. The one who got this ball rolling was Balaam who said: A star shall come forth from Jacob, a scepter shall rise from Israel. And for over 500 years, these Magi held on to the truth.
When these magicians, astronomers and astrologers, natural scientists and kingmakers came into the house and saw Jesus, they knew exactly who He was—Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace—and that’s why they fell down and worshipped Him.
Today’s One Thing
It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season – the preparations and the decorations and the celebrations. But this Christmas, follow the lead of the magi, and get caught up in the worship of Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords.