The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Scripture promises that God goes ahead of us. Deuteronomy 31:Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.[1] So how did God go ahead of the wise men or magi of Matthew 2?

Who Were the Magi?

 Matthew 2:1 simply tells us they were wise men from eastern lands. Tradition says they were men of high position from Parthia, near the site of ancient Babylon.[2] What else had happened in Babylon? God had exiled the Jews to Babylon seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus. Daniel was a Jewish exile who was part of the royal advisors or wise men (Daniel 2:12, 18; 4:6, 18). Daniel or other Jewish exiles could easily have left copies of the Old Testament there.

God had gone before these men, so they knew there was a promise of a coming king of the Jews. The king of Babylon respected Daniel as an advisor. Daniel’s influence seems to have continued to the days when Jesus was born. These wise men may have also had a special message from God directing them to these passages.

God Went Ahead of the Wise Men by the Star

These wise men were known to be trained astrologers. God went ahead of them by using something they were familiar with, a star. We still are not sure what this star was. It may have been a conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars.[3] This would have pointed to a king, yet, we can’t account for how this star moved.

Nevertheless, we know that God used this supernatural sign to guide the wise men to the area of the baby Jesus. They must have assumed that the king would be born in the capital city. Yet, God used the scholars of the day to tell them that the new king would be born in Bethlehem.

God Still Goes Ahead of Us

God hasn’t changed, and we can be sure of His promises to go ahead and guide us in our lives.

  • Deuteronomy 1: 30 The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.[4]
  • Psalm 139: You (God) go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.[5]
  • Isaiah 52:12b For the Lord will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.[6]

Just as the wise men worshiped God as He went ahead of them, we also worship God in thanks for going ahead of us. To learn how God goes ahead of us, listen here:

[1, 4-6] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188

[2,3] Barton, B. B. (1996). Matthew (p. 23). Tyndale House Publishers.

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