The Magi, King-makers, and Christian Conservatives

“Journey of the Magi” c. 1894, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

Erroneously called kings, the Magi who followed the star to baby Jesus were king-makers. This little-known authority has important implications for Christian conservatives in America today. Are we abrogating our responsibility–our authority–as king-makers? Let’s dive into that supposition.

Much misinformation and speculation has surrounded the account of the apostle Matthew regarding the distant Parthian visitors to Bethlehem. The traditional depiction of three crowned kings kneeling at the manger is at odds with the Bible and secular history. All those Christmas cards and nativity sets are reflective of a 6th century baseless legend that has the kings of Arabia, Persia, and India being the gift bearers. What King James’s Bible translators called the “wise men” (no number given) was from the Greek word, “Magoi” (English: Magi), meaning astrologers, sorcerers, or magicians. Furthermore, following the star they noticed at the time of Jesus’ birth was a journey of many months before they arrived at Bethlehem. The Bible says they came to the “house” where Jesus was, not to an animal stall. Jesus was a toddler by then. Finally, it is very doubtful there were just three. Men of their importance would have been accompanied by an entourage of assistants and protectors. After all, they were Parthians entering the unfriendly territory of the Roman Empire.

These Magi can be traced back to the Chaldean culture that predates Abraham. They practiced pagan conjuring and predicted the future by the stars. Later in Babylon, God’s prophet, Daniel, an exiled Hebrew, ascended to a high office in the Babylonian Empire which included chief of the Magi. No doubt Daniel taught them to acknowledge the One True God, Yahweh, as creating and controlling the universe. By the time the Persian Empire ruled most of the civilized world in the 5th century BC, the Magi were a priestly sect that heavily influenced the entire population. They became both priests and politicians forming the Council of Magistrates (note: Magi-strates) which eventually selected the kings of Persia and the successor kingdom, Parthia, for centuries. At the time of Jesus’ birth, these Magi were the “king-makers” in the vast Parthian Empire far to the east of Judea. Their knowledge of signs of the Messiah’s birth had been propagated over the five centuries since Daniel’s prophecies. What an example of God’s overarching strategy! No wonder Judea’s King Herod panicked when the men he knew to be king-makers came looking for a new king of the Jews.

God’s ultimate plan was for the Magi to be king-makers. His purpose for them was to effect His plan for the empires and nations of their day by choosing particular leaders. Our unchanging God expects no less of His people today. He has given Americans the greatest nation in history. We are a nation built on Christian principles with freedoms and prosperity never before experienced by mankind. I strongly believe God expects us Christians to determine who leads this nation. He expects us to elect candidates from the president to the county judge who will lead according to His Word and His ways. The sad and shameful fact is we are failing miserably in that regard. Some studies show as few as 25% of Christians even bother to vote. Other studies indicate that, if all Christ followers voted in every election, they would determine the outcome of every election. The mess we are in as a nation today can be laid at the feet of Christians who don’t take interest in their government and don’t vote their faith.

America is teetering on the brink of socialism and moral collapse. The votes of Christian conservatives next November, and in 2024 will determine the future of our nation. Many will disagree and take offense at this, but I believe God has commissioned His people to be His king-makers.

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