January 5, 2015

Matthew 2:1- After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.

So who were the magi? Tradition made them kings and gave them names- Balthasar, Caspar, and Melchior. We are told they came “from the east.” The east is a big place. In terms of the way this story works in Matthew’s gospel, it may be more important who the magi weren’t. They weren’t Jews. They weren’t insiders with the right pedigrees and the right connections and the right background. They hadn’t paid their dues resisting Roman or Herod or any of the others who were keeping people’s lives miserable. From the standpoint of the folks in Jerusalem (Matthew tells us Herod became “disturbed and all Jerusalem with him”) these were outsiders who had no real business showing up and causing commotion. From the standpoint of the gospel they were the first example of the spreading of God’s good news to those for whom it was always intended- everyone. The world has a way of dividing the world into the right people and the wrong people. We have a way of dividing the world into the right people and the wrong people. In God’s story, we are all the wrong people, and all the right people. It’s not primarily about us but about God who creates and redeems. Who are the wrong and right people in your story? Who are they in God’s story? What will that mean for you this week?

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