Wednesday, January 04, 2006


6th Century Italian mosaic

Epiphany is on Friday, so I’ve been reading over the story of the magi coming to visit Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12).
According to The People's New Testament, magi were 'an order of priests and philosophers which belonged originally to Persia and Media, and who were extensively distributed over the region of the Euphrates. Those described in the book of Daniel as wise men, astrologers and magicians, belonged to this order.'
I find it interesting that these foreigners, who likely practise magic and astrology, appear to be the only people in Jerusalem who realise that Messiah has been born. Even when King Herod asks the religious leaders about the expected conditions of Messiah’s arrival it doesn’t seem to occur to them that Messiah may have just been born.

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