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Interview with the magi, page 2: Christmas Series Part 13

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Matthew 2:1-3

[Background: Passed down in my family through the millennia is this interview with one of the magi conducted by my many-times-removed, great, great, great, great, etc., forebear, Dorotheonea Fricknacius, a young reporter for the Jerusalem Journal around the time of Christ. This is page 2 of her three-part interview. If you have not done so yet, please read page 1 of the interview from yesterday’s entry before you read this.]

Interview with Harar, magi from the East, page 2

Harar (not his real name): Throughout Arabia and Persia are magi, kings, and scholars learned in the lore of ancient prophecies and in the intricate portendings of the heavens. There has been a general expectation for over a century throughout the lands east of the Dead Sea that a great Judean Prince would be born in our time. This Man will obtain dominion unlike any before Him. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom which will not be destroyed.

Journal: That sounds like Messiah. But how were you magi, from so many varied nations, so certain that the time had come for such a Prince’s birth?

H: Ancient seers throughout Arabian and Persian history have foretold that a scepter would arise again in Judah. Indeed, one of my own country’s prophets, Balaam, left record of this One to come, saying, “I shall see Him, but not now; I shall behold Him, but not nigh; there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel…Out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion.

J: Yes, come to think of it, my people have that very prophecy recorded in our own sacred Scriptures.

H: I knew to look for a Star—a very special Star to the west—proclaiming this One’s arrival. As my father and my grandfather before me, I regularly studied the night skies, searching for the one out of Jacob.

J: When did you first spy the Star?

H: Oddly enough, it had arisen more than a year before I saw it, in skies further to the east. Magi from Persia and eastern Arabia began arriving in Moab with one goal: to follow the Star. I met them there on my frequent business in the region, and I was shocked but deeply stirred by their tidings. The Star was beckoning to those who would heed: Come at once to the land of Jacob. I had no choice but to drop my business dealings and join my fellow magi. We had but one goal: to behold and to touch the Desire of nations.

J: You, a star gazer and believer in magic arts, along with others of the same persuasion, actually believed you would find in Israel, a nation that historically outlaws such practices, One who would command your respect and attention?

H: We knew He was there. If we found Him, however, we would not merely pay attention; we would pour out our hearts to Him in adoration.

J: Any luck?

H: At first, none. No one in this land of prophetic fulfillment could give us any coherent direction. Truly, among ourselves, we magi wondered if those to whom this Child was sent actually cared about His advent at all.

J: You did eventually find a Child, though, did you not?

H: Yes. Herod had heard of our inquiries and sent for us. His chief priests and scribes had informed him from Scripture that the Christ would be born in Bethlehem. From our collective data, Herod deduced the Child was nearing two years. He then commissioned us to make haste to Bethlehem to search carefully for the Child. When we found Him, we were to report immediately back to Herod.

J: So Herod knew you were looking for a Child, not intending to plant one.

H: Absolutely! We continued from Jerusalem, now traveling south to Bethlehem, following the Star.

J: Describe the Star to refresh our readers’ memories, please.

H: Oh, how could one forget such a display! The Star was more lustrous than any in the heavens, and boasted a tail that extended far below its upper peak. It stood low on the horizon, ever beckoning west to those of us from the East, but for those in Jerusalem it took its stand to the South over tiny Bethlehem, pleading with any who would pay heed, Come! A Child has been born! As we drew near to the little town, we were amazed that so few seemed to pay the Star any attention at all. “Oh, that?” they would say. “That Star’s been in the same spot now for nearly two years. We’re used to it by now.”

Despite the nonchalance of most of the people, we met a humble shepherd who lit up like the Star itself when we asked about a Child king. He took us with great joy to the makeshift home of a carpenter and his wife and their young Son. On the way he told us tales of angels radiating heavenly light far more brilliant than the luster of the Star. The angels directed him and his peers to this same Child, who according to the angels, was none other than the Savior, Christ the Lord. We knew it was true as we entered the home and met Mary His mother and saw the young Child.

We immediately fell in worship; we could not speak other than in praises to God. His mother, a young girl, to be sure, stood humbly, even embarrassed, yet dignified, obviously soaking up all that she was seeing. After some time, her husband extended his hand to us and allowed us to hold the Child. Such lowly beginnings for the very Son of God! It made utter sense, though. The King—yea, the Savior of the human race—had to be clothed with humility so that the lowest of the low could rest assured that they, too, were included in His embrace. Likewise, the highest of the mighty would be brought to their knees embracing His revelation.

To be continued…

© 2015, Dorothy Frick

(The preceding has been fictionalized.)