Tuesday, January 10, 2006

chapelblog: Mt 2:1-12

(JDH)

Mt 2:1-12 The first missiological text of the NT.

Jan 6= Epiphany. Webster: EPIPH'ANY, n. [Gr. appearance; to appear.] A Christian festival celebrated on the sixth day of January, the twelfth day after Christmas, in commemoration of the appearance of our Savior to the magians or philosophers of the East, who came to adore him with presents [I like that wording]; or as others maintain, to commemorate the appearance of the star to the magians, or the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. Jerome and Chrysostom take the epiphany to be the day of our Savior's baptism, when a voice from heaven declared, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." The Greek fathers use the word for the appearance of christ in the world, the sense in which Paul used the word. 2 Tim 1:10.

1-8 Magi visit Herod. Probably happened 2 yrs after Jesus birth. The new age (of their time) king-makers ask Herod the paranoid, “Where is the one born King?” And all Jerusalem was troubled.

9-12 Magi visit Jesus. God used a star the way He used the cloud to lead the nation Israel from captivity. We do not know how many magi there were, we infer three from the number of gifts. They brought gifts appropriate for a king, probably used to finance the trip to Egypt.

Missiological principles of the text:

Divine purpose: why come but to worship? Both lower and upper classes came to worship Jesus in the shepherds and wise guys. Both Jew and Gentile (all nations) began to come in those visitations. This is the goal of God ultimately.

Divine preparation: How did the magi know? In God’s plan, the Jews went into exile, Daniel had a ministry to the king-makers, Esther, Ezra & Nehemiah were faithful in God’s use of them, and there was the worship of those who remained (who did not return to Israel). The magi saw and heard the people around them.

Divine prompting: God takes initiative. The magi had some kind of light in their darkness. Could it be that Num 24:17 ignited their curiosity? “A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel . . .”

Divine people: God has people prepared to point the way on the journey.

What are you doing? Is it in tune with God's purpose, preparation, and prompting?

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