Discussion Guide 12/20

Matthew 2:1-12

The story of the Magi, also known as the wise men, in Matthew is one of the most out-of-left-field stories in the New Testament. We are told practically nothing about this group besides the direction from which they came, why they came, and what they brought with them.

Matthew certainly could have included more details about the Magi. We can research and find out things that are not in the text about them. But when we a story like this in the Bible, it is really important that we understand the purpose of why God chose to give it to us in the way it was given.

I see three big truths about the visit of the magi that we shouldn’t miss when we read this story with our families at Christmas.

  1. Jesus is recognized as a king despite the humble circumstances of his birth.
  2. Jesus was born to be a king of all the nations, not just Israel.
  3. The Magi give us an example of people who are physically far from God, but who are nonetheless brought near to him by the right motive to worship Jesus.

Each one of us needs to ask the question: Are we motivated to seek Christ out of selfish concern for our own comfort, or are we motivated by a heart-felt longing to live under the kingship of Jesus? This is where we begin to check our hearts for the essence of true worship.

Discussion Questions

  • What is one of the most interesting things about the magi to you?
  • Why was Herod disturbed by the appearance of the magi?
  • Why would all Jerusalem be disturbed with Herod?
  • What do you think motivated the magi to undertake their journey?
  • Why could the religious establishment not embrace Jesus the way that the magi did?
  • How can you determine the right motives from the wrong motives in seeking Jesus?
  • What is the evidence that you see that God put the desire in your heart to seek Jesus?
Jonathan Pugh
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