God's Magicians: December 19

Lutheran Indian Ministries 2016 Advent Devotion

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the East came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)

 There’s more to the Wise Men than camels and myrrh. These “Magi” were just that: Magicians. Sorcerers. Astrologers. Practitioners of the Black Arts, who relied on the demonic for their skill.

 They were “Kings” because of their position: Royal advisors, who would be used by monarchs to gain an advantage. If you can interpret dreams and read the heavens to ascertain future events, you would find a spot in the King’s court, as did Daniel in Babylon and Joseph in Egypt.

God used what was expressly forbidden for His nation in order to lead another nation from error to the Truth. The Wise Men were already convinced that the star would lead them to God’s King. They entered the house and bowed in worship before this young child, literally treating Him like God. They returned to their own country; was it Persia? India? Even China?

To bring the word that they had come face-to-face with God, who had met them as the young child, Jesus. Because of their knowledge, the seeds of the Gospel are planted on the other side of the world, when the Magi return home.

Native people respond to displays of wisdom and insight, and the supernatural use of natural phenomena. A star in the heavens that appears, and moves, and directs people to greater discovery, speaks loudly to the Native mind. What God has condemned in one culture, He can use to speak to another. This requires discernment and the requirement to “test the spirits” and divide the true from the false.

 The key is: where will that sign or spirit lead you? The Wise Men were led to the cradle of the King. They brought the knowledge of the Savior to the other end of the earth.

 Lord of all nations, use us to lead the nations to their true King in Jesus, Amen.

Rev. Robert Gebel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin