Matt. 2:1-2. “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.”
Matthew is the only gospel that tells us this part of the story. That is because, of course, the purpose of this gospel was to present Jesus as Messiah, King. These men who came from the East had come to find Him and worship Him.
This is an amazingly interesting chapter, presenting the entire gospel in a nutshell and describing the fulfillment of several prophecies. We’re going to move through fairly slowly, because I don’t want to miss anything!
What were the prophecies that were fulfilled in Chapter Two? I’ll go into more detail and provide the proper references as we move through these events, but here’s a bird’s eye view: The coming of the Magi bringing gifts; Herod’s treachery; the flight into Egypt; the slaughter of young boys in Bethlehem, the return from Egypt, and the abode of Jesus in Nazareth as the rejected One.
We are told in this chapter that the true King is not known in Jerusalem, the City of the Great King; in His own temple, His people do not know He has come. Strangers from afar seek Him because they desire to know Him and worship Him. Even worse, the religious authorities don’t care and the civil ruler, Herod, is determined to kill this child whom he sees as competition for his authority. Later, both these authorities play an important role in His death.
Also, the whole history of the kingdom of the heavens in its mystery form is outlined in this chapter, and the character of the new dispensation is described. As I said, it’s an amazing chapter.
Next time, we’ll discuss when the Magi actually found Jesus.