"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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A Voice in the Wilderness
Matthew 2:1-12 Commentary
by Karl Kuhn
The story of the three magi is one of the central narratives in the church’s celebration of Jesus’ advent.
It has come to symbolize for us important elements of who we proclaim Jesus to be, and what it means to follow Jesus. Set in the opening pages of Matthew’s gospel, the account foreshadows what will become clear in the narrative yet to unfold.
These magi are Gentiles from distant lands. Yet they recognize the importance of this child and who he will become. The story introduces recipients of Matthew’s gospel to the profession that this child, Jesus, is to be Savior and Lord for Israelite and Gentile alike. In this story we also find the magi an example of what it means to welcome the Christ child. The magi undertake an arduous journey from afar, compelled by their earnest desire to come before this new king.
Upon seeing Jesus, they worship him. Their actions parallel those of others throughout the gospels who respond to Jesus with almost immediate trust and devotion. We do well to remember this story, for it announces that Jesus is Savior to all humankind and celebrates those ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 108: Magi
December 25, 2013
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers the texts for Dec. 25, 2013: Matthew 2:1-12 (or Luke 2:8-20). Accompanying reading: Psalm 102:13-15.