Weekly Bible Teaching

Where Is He Born King of the Jews?
By Rev. John Cortright on 12/27/2015


Matthew 2:1-2
“After” Jesus was born…magi from the east arrived. How long after? In the account recorded in Luke chapter two, at the birth of Jesus, shepherds came to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph with a newborn baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger (Luke 2:16). In this record in Matthew, the magi found a young child with his mother in the house (Matthew 2:11). The arrival of the magi could have occurred as much as two years after the event in Luke chapter two (Matthew 2:16).

“Magi from the east” – The word “magi” is the from the Greek word “magos”. They were not Hebrew; they were from the East. Most likely, they were men from the area of Babylon and Persia, men skilled in the science of astronomy and astrology. How did these men from an Eastern religion come to understand that a “king of the Jews” had been born? Perhaps the book of Daniel provides insight (Daniel 1:20-21; 2:47-48).

“His Star” – a phenomenon – a super bright star in the sky, or an astronomical occurrence that these magi interpreted to signify a king of the Jews was born? There is no indication that anyone else saw this star, nor is the brightness of the star ever mentioned, only its significance.

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews” – This is what “His” star signified to the magi.

Matthew 2:3

King Herod and all Jerusalem were troubled. Herod and rulers in Jerusalem had a respect for these magi from the East.

Matthew 2:4-6

Herod inquired as to where “the Messiah” was to be born. There was an understanding that the Messiah, the Christ, was to be king of Jews. The birth place of the one who was to rule God’s people was prophetically declared by the prophet Micah (4:2) – Bethlehem.

Matthew 2:7

Herod inquired as to when the star appeared. The magi could have been observing this star for as much as two years (Matthew 2:11).

Matthew 2:8-11

They came to Bethlehem and found a young child with his mother, Mary, in a house. They presented gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They worshipped him. The Greek word for worship is proskuneo. It means to kneel or prostrate, to do homage, or make obeisance. Among Orientals, esp. the Persians, it meant to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence. The son of David, the king of the Jews, was to receive such reverence (Psalm 72).

Matthew 2:12-15
– God warned the magi and Joseph in a dream to depart. Joseph and Mary went to Egypt.

Matthew 2:16-18
– Herod slaughtered all the male children in Bethlehem from 2 years old and younger based on his inquiry of the magi.

Mathew 2:19-23
Mary and Joseph returned to Israel and went back to Nazareth of Galilee.

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