Christmas Post: The Adoration of the Magi

Edward Burne Jones - The Adoration of the Magi // larryhuntbiblecommentary.wordpress.com

The Adoration of the Magi (1894), tapestry, wool and silk on cotton warp Metropolitan University

Edward Burne Jones (with details by William Morris and John Henry Dearle)

The wise men, or magi, who came to worship little Jesus seem to have undertaken their costly, long, and dangerous trip with no other motive than to adore and honor him.  They came from the east, which probably means that they came from Persia since the caste of magi originated in ancient Persia.  Magi were priests in the Zoroastrian religion and scholars trained in such subjects as history, literature, and dream interpretation. They were also astrologers, which explains how they understood the significance of Christ’s star.

They followed this star to Jerusalem.  I have heard many people say that it was naïve of these wise men to go to the current king of the Jews and ask where the new king was, and it has always seemed so to me as well. But now I wonder if, in fact, the wise men were assuming that the new king would be a son of Herod?  Perhaps they followed the star as far as Jerusalem and then naturally thought the new king of the Jews would be born to the current king of the Jews, in the ancient capital of the Jews.  Perhaps only after the new information from Herod do the wise men notice that the star has not stopped moving, that it was not leading them to Jerusalem as their preconceived ideas erroneously prepared them to believe, but rather to Bethlehem.

The fact that they were unaware of the importance of Bethlehem could support the idea that they were, if fact, Zoroastrian rather than Jewish scholars from the east.  (Only the Jewish scholars seem to have had this knowledge about Bethlehem.)  At any rate, it has always impressed me how these priests of another religion recognized the universal significance of the birth of this new king.  The purity of their devotion is implicitly endorsed by Matthew and is a foreshadowing of the future salvation of Jew and Gentile alike.


0 Responses to “Christmas Post: The Adoration of the Magi”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


THE GLORY OF KINGS - A proposal for why God will always be the best explanation for the existence of the universe.

SWEET RIVER FOOL - Alcoholic, homeless, and alone, Snody despaired of life until a seemingly chance encounter with Saint Francis of Assisi led him to the joys of Christ and the redemption of his soul…

ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD - Enoch had a beautiful soul and walked with God in many ways. This book invites children to imagine what some of those ways might have been while presenting them with a wonderful model for their own lives.


%d bloggers like this: