Led by a star, wise men come to worship this MessiahThe Messiah was the one who, it was believed, would come to free the people of Israel from bondage and exile. In Jewish thought the Messiah is the anticipated one who will come, as prophesied by Isaiah. In Christian thought Jesus of Nazareth is identified... More, but their arrival raises fears in Jerusalem and for King Herod.
Reference to Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem once again marks his status as the son of DavidSecond king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More, while marvelous events continue to signal the hand of God. Wise men, whose precise character and origin remain mysterious, journey to Jerusalem led by a star that appears repeatedly in this brief story (2:2, 7, 9, 10). At its end they return home guided and protected by a dream. Ironically, the story juxtaposes “King Herod” with this one who is “born king.” Though frightened by the prospect, it is still Herod who authorizes the inquiry that will reveal the birth in Bethlehem once again as fulfillment of prophecyProphecy is the gift, inspired by God, of speaking and interpreting the divine will. Prophets such as Amos, Isaiah, and Ezekiel spoke words of judgment and comfort to the people of Israel on behalf of God. More. The prophetic description of this king as a shepherd certainly anticipates the humility and suffering of JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More in Matthew’s story, while Herod’s instructions about “finding” and “bringing word” (2:8; the original word ironically means “announce good news”) anticipate a similar “finding” and “telling good news” at Jesus’ resurrection. Three times in the story the reference to “paying homage” (2:2, 8, 11; the original Greek word means “worship”) is significant in its description and modeling of the first appropriate response to the birth of God’s Messiah.