Have you ever thought about the Christmas story as a conversion story? I am sure you are wondering why I am talking about Christmas in September, but this is important. I believe everyday is a day to be reminded of the birth of our Savior, coming to us as a baby and Easter, where Jesus rose again, because he is also our God.
A few weeks ago in Bible class, we were learning about a woman who was an astrologer, but came to faith in Christ Jesus.
The study made reference to the wisemen and discussed their conversion on their journey to see the newborn King.
I realized that I had never made the connection that the Wise men likely were converted from unbelief to faith in the star that God gave them and their sight of the Savior.
Why have I never heard this story of the narrative during the Christmas season? Have you heard it?
We talk about the miracle of Mary being with child. We rightly focus on the birth of our Savior in a humble place. We talk about the angel chorus received by the shepherds in the field.
We talk about the Wisemen, but some say they shouldn’t be part of the nativity set because they came much later. The visual may not be completely accurate, but they are still part of the story.
Their role in the story comes after the cultural celebration is over. Christmas has passed and their journey, while pretty cool, never mentions their new found, faith. It requires a little background knowledge and revealing from the Holy Spirit to figure it out!
The Magi Visit the Messiah
“2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 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.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with giftsof gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” – Matthew 2:2 – 12
I would love to hear a sermon at Epiphany about the conversion of the Wisemen. My prayer would be for those who only attend Christmas and other special holiday services, to hear a spin on the original story, not to add fluff, but to understand the impact of this baby’s birth. This baby, the Savior of the world, humbly born, brought a group of astrologers to faith through his coming.