Following a star

Hello and welcome to Maranatha, come lord Jesus today on the 23rd day of advent where we will be talking about the magi following the star to Bethlehem and questioning king Herod about it on the way.

Matthew 2:1-6
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men[a] from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’

When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”’

Who are the wise men?
The wise men are called magi which comes from the Persian word magus

They were the priests of the Persian religion called Zoroastrianism

They were famous for studying astrology ( looking at the stars )

At that time the appearance of new starts signified great events or births of important people

The magi want to find the child born to be king of the Jews

Why is this important?

Because it shows that Jesus is not just born to be king of the Jewish people but draws all people to him

Understandably the magi assume the star for a new king being born for the Jews means that he will be born in Jerusalem

No wonder Herod is concerned that a leader might rise up against him for this is Herod the great who became governor of Galilee in 47 BC, ruling on behalf of the Roman emperor.
Herod has no idea that Jesus’ rule and power is like no normal, human ruler

Discussion ( part 3 )
Herod seeks the advice of his Jewish advisors and priests and they recall the prophecy Micah chapter 5 verse 1-3

This is the prophecy that says the anointed one will be born in Bethlehem

• This is important because it is the town of king David and the prophecy hints at the kind of ruler Jesus will be as it
says he will Shepard Israel
Conclusion ( part 1 )
As we prepare for Christmas this reading is a special reminder that Jesus came as a saviour for the whole world, and
is a ruler like no other.
Conclusion ( part 2 )
And it shows us how the magi followed the star which lead them to a prophecy and a child who was born to be a king.
A king so special that wiseman would come so far to see him.
Now we will have a prayer to conclude
L – Hope of the world
Z – Maranatha, come lord Jesus
L – Thank you for the star which guided the wise men
Thank you that the wise men knew how important your birth would be
Thank you that the wise men were directed to Bethlehem
Help us to seek you and bring wise friends into our lives to guide us
Z – We ask this in your name, the one one born in Bethlehem

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