And the wise men knelt before the Child

Matthew 2:11 -- On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasures chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The writer of Matthew's gospel has theological motives. He tells the story of Jesus in order to deliver a message about God and he chooses his characters with care. The Magi were astrologers; powerful and rich; they came from strange places far away. Why did he choose to tell their story? He could have stuck with shepherds and other Jewish locals. These guys do not resemble any of Luke's cast of characters.

Matthew is making a point about these visitors and we don't want to miss it. They were filled with the wisdom of the world and in them the esoteric bowed before the Savior. In them, the wealth and power of the world got on its knees before a small child and in these traveling Magi, the distant came eye to eye with the Holy One now become flesh and blood. It is no accident their story is there - Matthew uses them to serve notice that the baby in Bethlehem is the ruler of wisdom and wealth and power; all that is earthly and far from God.

[ Prayer for the Day ]

Lord, You are sovereign over all things. You alone are worthy of our worship and at your feet the world's wealth, wisdom, power and culture find their proper place. We too Lord like the wise men lay down our wisdom, knowledge, power and riches and bow before You. Amen.

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