The Magi

No. 22 - 08th January 2017

Some time after the birth of Jesus, in Bethlehem, a group of Magi arrived from the East bearing gifts for the new king. They had seen his star appearing in the East and had come to pay homage to the one who was obviously of very great significance. The Roman philosopher Cicero describes Magi as “wise and learned men among the Persians.” They were probably astrologers who served the king of Persia with astrological advice, and some of the gifts they brought may well have been from the king himself. On arriving at King Herod’s palace in Jerusalem, their first question was, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews. We saw his star when it rose and have come to pay homage to him.” Now King Herod, or Herod the Great as he was known, was understandably upset by this. He knew enough to suspect this was probably the Messiah that the Jews were waiting for. The man who was going to drive the Romans out of their country and set up a new Jewish kingdom. So he had all the babies in Bethlehem slaughtered. That was the way Herod operated. However, having been forewarned, Joseph and Mary emigrated to Egypt where they raised the young child Jesus.

Some thirty three years later this same subject cropped up again. Jesus was standing trial before the Governor, Pontus Pilate, on a charge of blasphemy and of being a danger to the State. “Are you the King of the Jews” Pilate asked, and when challenged again Jesus replies, “My kingdom is not of this world.” In other words, “Yes, I am a king but not of any earthly kingdom”. He was talking about the Kingdom of God. It’s a kingdom without boundaries because it draws its citizens from every nation on earth. This kingdom has its own economy which is led by generosity and giving time and money away with no strings attached. It has a legal system that’s based entirely on the character of God, and is all about justice and truth and mercy. It even has its own social system called the Church, with ambassadors all over the world. Immigrants are welcomed into this kingdom with open arms, on the one condition that they love and honour the King. That king is Christ Jesus, and his kingdom will never end. Now that’s my kind of kingdom. I like it.

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