My reading of Dallas Willard has inspired me to read through the Gospels several times over the next few months seeking to transform my life into the beauty of Christ’s life. It seems to be a needed aspiration in my life currently.
I began today in Matthew, but got hung up on some things before ever getting to the ministry of Christ.
Something I have read over for years is the visitation of the Magi. For whatever reason I never asked myself who these people were. Our minister in Nashville gave a Christmas sermon regarding them (I actually remember a sermon for once, definitely because of its unique subject). His conclusion is that they were wisemem from Persia. A probable conclusion, but not one that is verifiable.
Thumbing quickly through a commentary, I found an appreciation there that I admire. I don’t have it in front of me, but it was from the Interpretation series, one of my favorites. His comment regarding the Christmas and Epiphany stories is that poets, writers, and artists have better captured the meaning than scholars, teachers, and preachers.
That’s when it hit me I was asking the wrong question. Sure, there are plenty of implications for my theological pursuasion in the fact that these men were called by God and were not Jews, but there is something bigger than that old burdensome discussion. The visit of the Magi states loudly the messianic fulfillment, not just for Jerusalem, but for Athens, for Beijing and Tokyo. My mind is so frequently limited by the Judeo-Christian geography that I often fail to take in all of God’s goodness and grandeur. He’s so much bigger and more incredible than I could ever fathom. And it is stated so simply in Matthew, but also so incredibly when you stop and consider the Magi. They understood the wonder and majesty that was occurring.
As I read through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John afresh, my hope is to rekindle the childlike awe of God that should come so naturally when considering his greatness.