Three Kings/Wise Men/Magi followed the light in the sky…the star that foretold the coming of the King of the Jews.
The wise men (also known as Magi) were followers of Zoroastrianism, a religion that dates back to 6000BC. These wise men are believed to have come from western Iran. The Magi were astrologers, which meant they had the ability to read the stars and manipulate the fate that the stars foretold.
The following prophesy describes the Messiah being worshipped by kings:
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth,
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the LORD will rise upon you,
And His glory will appear upon you.
And nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Lift up your eyes round about, and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms.Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice;
Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you. ~ Isaiah 60:1-5
A passage from the Book of Matthew describes fulfillment of the prophesy:
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, the wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together the entire chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'"
When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another path. ~Matthew 2:12
The story of the astrologers who came from afar to pay their respects to Emmanuel, the newborn King of Israel, is one that is told not only in the Christian religion, but in others as well.
Jesus of Nazareth taught on three levels:
- Love your brother. (social level)
- The Kingdom of God is Within. (spiritual/religious level)
- On that day, you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. ~John 14:20. All spiritual traditions support this belief. Perhaps Confucianism articulates it best with "Heaven, earth and human are of one body." When we trust in ourselves, we trust in God at the same time, because "you and the Father are one." (mystical level)
May we each see God in all of us. Merry Christmas!