Magi Visit (Matt 2:1-23)
This story is often woven into the birth story of Jesus to the point of including the “wise men” in the Bethlehem setting. It is fairly clear from this chapter that the child was already born when they arrived on the scene, and then they proceeded back to their homeland following their worship experience.
Regardless of the actual timing, we often overlook the amount of FAITH required by Joseph and Mary to process the outcome of the Magi’s visit: They were going to need the wealth from the offerings presented by their visitors for a brutally difficult “witness relocation” process! Luke chapter 2 tells us of their initial journey (possibly for a planned relocation) to Bethlehem from Nazareth, a trip of at least 150 miles, to be registered for Roman taxation.
Following Jesus’ birth, and the visit from the Magi, they were then sent by an angel to Egypt in order to avoid the genocide exacted by Herod. This journey of at least 350 miles took great FAITH, since they would now be Jews trying to survive in Egypt.
Then, following the “all clear” from another angel, they journeyed all the way back north to Nazareth in order to relocate once again, this trip approximating 500 miles! We may be tempted to complain about simple things such as the weather, or that hideous sweater we received as a gift.
Even if your heart is in the mood to complain to God about the methods and timing of his plan, have FAITH! Remember the FAITH of that young couple, Mary and Joseph!
Mark Hill, Pastor