Matthew 2:1-18 – Symbolism of Christmastime: Bethlehem and the Magi
For five weeks, we will be reintroduced to those who played pivotal roles in the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Some of the faces will be familiar, like Mary and Joseph. Others we will meet again, for the first time in a way, such as the magi who have so often and so long been misunderstood. We will hear about the significance of the angels, the messengers of God, bringing the good news to the shepherds, whom most people considered the bottom of society. Throughout this time, our knowledge of the story of Jesus’s birth will be recounted, and sometimes elements of it will be challenged, but in all ways our grasp of it should be strengthened for the sake of knowing Jesus himself even better.
Most of our English Bibles use the poor translation of ‘wise men’ to describe the magi from the east who brought gifts to Jesus. This week, we will examine more about the magi, who they probably were, and who they definitely were not. For example, since the original Greek version of the Bible simply refers to them as ‘magi,’ we cannot say that there were three of them, that they were wise, or that they were men. Also, knowing the historical roles of magi, we can certainly say that they were not kings. This examination will deconstruct some of our false notions about the magi, but then reconstruct a more historical understanding that brings greater clarity and deeper meaning to how they fit into the story of Jesus’s birth.
For those without online viewing capacity, please contact Deborah in our church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-646-5041 for a printed transcript.