Monday, 2nd January, 2017
Text: Matthew 2:1-12
HYMN: EMHB 412 – Worship, and thanks, and blessing
Memory Verse: Matthew 2:10 “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” (RSV)
Once again, we wish all readers and members best wishes and pray that the year 2017 will be a year of happiness, good health and prosperity in Jesus’ name. It has been a season of joy since the last advent when we celebrated the incarnate Son of the Most High, Jesus Christ. The Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International has a slogan: ‘The Wise still Seek Jesus’. On this second day of the first month of year 2017, we are considering the visit of the Magi, the wise men from the East who came to seek Jesus Christ after His birth. As wise men, they understood astrology whether by native intelligence, common sense or through supernatural means. So they were led by a star all the way to where the Saviour was born.
Who were these wise men from the ‘east’? According to the Jewish New Testament Commentary (David H. Stern, 1992), Magi were not merely sorcerers or magicians, although the word “magician” comes from Magi, nor were they simply astrologers, although they did observe the stars. They were sages, (wise men) often in positions of responsibility but sometimes commanding respect because of their wisdom even when not holding office. These Magi either came from the Medo-Persian Empire or Babylon.
Imagine such a calibre of men following a God-directed star to a new born baby. There was a yearning and expectation for the Messiah even from the east represented by the great Babylon, which was also the ancestral origin of Abraham the friend of God (Genesis 11:27-31). Hence, by seeing Jesus Christ, the expectation of the wise men was satisfied and they ‘rejoiced exceedingly with great joy,’ bowed and worshipped the Lord and presented gifts to Jesus. So shall it be to all who receive Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Saviour this New Year, that your life shall be filled with immeasurable joy. Amen.
Prayer: Let the joy of salvation in Christ Jesus spring up in me. Amen.