I mentioned on Monday that the Magi were clearly studying a tradition that was not their own before the birth of Jesus Christ in order to recognize the significance of Bethlehem from the prophecy of Micah. If they had not been studying those texts ahead of time, they would have miss the signs altogether and would not have made the journey to come and see the Messiah.
We talk about God’s divine plan a lot. We always like to talk about the times that we can look back and see where everything worked out in exactly the right way so that something great happens. This is just my speculation, but I have to wonder if the Magi had a similar moment as they made their way back to their home country after their encounter with Jesus Christ.
First of all, God had to have the right men in the right spot. The Magi had to be the type of men who had the propensity to learn. They had to want to understand other religions beyond their own. They also had to be the type of men who had faith. Some people are so skeptical and have hardened their hearts so much that even if they saw the star in the same way that the Magi did, they would not have followed. They wouldn’t believe that the Biblical prophecy could ever be true.
Thinking even more into this, the Magi had to be the type of people who were socioeconomically capable of making the journey to Israel. It was not easy to undertake this type of journey, so even if the Magi were men of faith, if they had not been in their socioeconomic position, they might not have had the ability to go to Israel even if they wanted to and somehow recognized the sign.
However, it doesn’t end there. The Magi also had to be in the right part of the world where would even be possible to get to Israel. Imagine if the Magi were in Australia. First of all, they would not have had the Old Testament to recognize the significance of Micah’s prophecy, but they could have never followed the star at that time in history. It simply wasn’t possible. They might have had exactly the same amount of faith, but they would not have been able to act on it in the way that they could because of where they geographically were at the time.
We think about God having a plan all the time, and I believe that is true. However, at least I normally don’t think about it like this very often. All these things that seem to be coincidental had to be in place in order for the Magi to be the ones who are capable of coming to Jesus Christ. If any of these divinely ordained factors were not in place, the Magi could not have made the free choice to act on their faith. God doesn’t make mistakes.