1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
(Byzantine mosaic of the wise men 526 AD- depicting them as Persians)
Thoughts: What was the star the wise men followed? There are several possibilities. The Koreans and Chinese speak of a comet appearing with no tail about 4 BC. There were two supernovas during 8-1 BC that could have been the star. But most think comets and supernovas were bad omens instead of signs of a star. It appears the best choice is an alignment of the sun, moon, Jupiter and Saturn were all aligned. This would have been a sign that a great leader of the Jews was born, but also that this leader would die at an appointed time (thus bringing myrrh for his burial). The amazing thing is that these wise men set out on a long journey of faith- believing that what they had seen in the stars was real and so outstanding that they should travel for a long time to seek this new King. It is true- the wise still seek Him.
Prayer: Open my eyes to see the heavens telling of your glory. Give me a will to respond to you by seeking and finding you.
John Calvin abridged: Matthew does not say how Jesus was born. The evangelists wrote one and the same history but in different ways. His majesty shines in the east, while in Judea he was dishonored. The Father stripped Him of all earthly splendor, yet still uses the star and wise men to point us to Him.