Key Scripture: Matthew 2:1-11
Just as God announced the arrival of Jesus to the shepherds in an amazing way, he announced his arrival to another group of people in a different amazing way. God used a bright star to tell a group of men called Magi about the birth of the long-awaited Savior and King.
The Magi lived in East Asia, far from Bethlehem. They were priests who offered sacrifices to a fake god. The Magi were very important, powerful people in their government in the east. They chose the kings in their land and gave them advice. The Magi were known as wise men. They were experts in mysteries like magic and dream telling, and they studied space and the stars. When Jesus was born, God made a new star appear in the sky. He used this star to make it known to the Magi that the King of his people had come into the world.
The Magi made a long trip to the city of Jerusalem. They asked people where they could find this new King because they wanted to worship him! Now, at the time, a wicked man named Herod was ruling as a king over God’s people. Herod was not from Abraham and David’s big family. He did not know the one, true God. When Herod heard that the Magi were looking for a new king, he became very jealous and afraid. Herod didn’t want this new king to take his throne, so he told the Magi to find the baby and come back to tell him where he was. Herod pretended he wanted to worship the baby king too, but he really wanted to kill him.
God then made the new star move in the sky, filling the Magi with joy as it guided them to the house where Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were staying. When the Magi entered the house and saw Jesus, they bowed low to worship him. They gave him very nice presents–presents fit for a king called gold, frankincense, and myrrh. God warned the Magi in a dream not to tell wicked Herod they had found Jesus.
How unexpected and amazing that God led a group of priests from far off—a group of priests who once worshipped a fake god–to bow before the one, true God and King! The promises God had made to Abraham were already starting to come true! God was beginning to make King Jesus known to people from other nations so he could bless them by his grace.
Main Point: The Magi were wise and powerful men from the east who worshiped a fake god. God used a star to guide them to Jesus so they could worship him as the one true King!
Christ connection: The good news of Jesus Christ is not just for the nation of Israel but for people from every tribe and nation on earth–even those who are far away like us (Ephesians 2:12-13, 17-19).