Bible Study Lesson from Matthew 2:1-16
King Herod wanted the Magi to return to him after they found Christ and report His location but they took a different route home.
The Christmas Story – Herod and the Magi
Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.”
After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.
Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. – Matthew 2:7-12 NASB
The Magi and King Herod – How Many Wise Men Visited Jesus?
A quick Christmas trivia question … How many wise men were there? Three? (Answer at bottom)
There Can Be Only One King
The chief priests and teachers of the law were aware of Micah 5:2 and other prophesies in Scripture about the Messiah.
The Magi’s news troubled Herod because he knew the the Jewish people expected the Messiah to come soon (Luke 3:15).
Herod is Paranoid
King Herod was not in the line of David so many Jews hated him already. He knew if this child was allowed to grow it could mean trouble for him.
His goal at this time was to put down a possible revolution which could take away his kingdom and his life.
Herod, like many kings of the day, was paranoid that someone was always plotting to overthrow him so he became ruthless to those he suspected, and to any who opposed him.
Most Jews expected the Messiah to be a great military and political deliverer, like Alexander the Great.
Herod’s counselors would have told him this. Add this new information to his already established paranoia, along with some realistic warnings and you have a recipe for disaster.
No wonder this ruthless man took no chances and ordered all the baby boys in Bethlehem killed.
The Role of God
On the other hand, God had a different plan.
The details of God’s plan are in the verses of Luke about the dream, the wise men deciding to take a different route, flight to Egypt, etc. so I won’t go into detail about these today.
Power of God
I would like to mention that no matter what Herod planned to do to crush a power coming into being, God is in control of the entire situation and His will is final!
Some would call this a mere coincidence or chance happening but Scripture tells us that God will work His plan in all situations.
No king or president on earth is powerful enough to curtail what God wants to do.
How about your life? Are you listening to what God has planned for you or are you destined to be a wandering generality?
He has a defined purpose for your life just as He does for mine – if we will only listen.
Love in Christ
Answer: How many wise men? Not sure, the Bible doesn’t really give a number. Sorry!
To learn more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 to get information.
Read Today’s Verses Here:
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version