Herod responded to the testimony of the wise men with murderous wrath. He "was exceeding wroth, and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem." (Matt. 2:16.) The glad tidings of heaven brought no joy to Satan, the prince of darkness nor any of his servants. It is fitting that the evidence of his anger completes the nativity story.
Wise men, guided by a new star, came to Bethlehem to worship Jesus sometime after His birth. They were not ordinary men. Magi were “privileged to search out the Son of God and give Him gifts, and were spiritually sensitive and knowledgeable, suggests that they were actually prophets on a divine errand." (Bible Dictionary) They were holy men from a land east of Palestine.
“Who will care about the King of Jews?,” “The Jews!” Most of the Jews lived in Babylon and were there until 1000 AD when the Muslims took over Babylon. So the wise men most likely came from Babylon.
We also know from the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible that the wise men came seeking “the Messiah of the Jews,” thus following the pattern of witnesses that brought seekers of the Son of God to testify of him. (JST, Matt. 3:2.)
Magi or wise men bearing gifts came of the east - symbolic of Jesus returning from the east bearing eternal gifts!
What a wonderful example of faith and witnessing. She recognized divinity. When is the last time you saw divinity in someone? or one of God's creations? I recently watched a video of a mother and her daughter-in-law whose relationship was not ideal. They were put together in an unique situation and ended up healing and strengthening that relationship. As I watched the healing process and the love oose out of both of them for each other I felt divinity. I believe whenever there is healing and stregnthing of relationships there God is also.
When the parents and the child entered the temple—Mary for the ritual of cleansing and Joseph to pay the tax necessary to redeem the firstborn from priestly service—Simeon took the child in his arms and declared, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:29–32.)
Joseph McConkie said Simeon's declaration "reached far beyond the understanding and hope of those of his nation, for he saw the universal nature of Christ’s ministry. He bore witness that Jesus was Savior to Jew and Gentile alike." (Joseph F. Mcconkie, Twelve Witnesses of christ's Birth, Ensign, December 1990)
What has God promised you? Are you sharing what he has given you?
The angels were heralding with music the Savior’s birth among the scattered remnants of Israel.
Were you there? Singing and prayer are the two ways we praise God together as a whole, as one. Think about a time when you felt the spirit as you sang a song in a large congregation. I remember knowing that Joseph Smith was a prophet while I sang, "Praise to the Man" with two thousand missionaries. It was a powerful moment I'll always remember.
Their job that night and other nights was to witness the birth of the lambs! Many gave birth to two lambs and they needed to know the first born so they could become sacrifical lambs. They would mark the first born male with a red cord around the neck. This special night they got to witness the first born son of God - the Lamb of God.
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who leads and watches over his followers. Many prophets compared him to a shepherd. “The Lord is my shepherd.” (Ps. 23:1) “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd.” (Isa. 40:11) “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (John 10:11,14)
The special witnesses borne by these shepherds were to be told to family, friends, and neighbors. They were to be told in the courts of the temple, and from there to be told among all nations of the earth. Luke tells us that after the shepherds had seen the “babe lying in a manger, … they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” (Luke 2:16–17.) Such was the declaration of the angel who stood before them that holy night, that these “good tidings of great joy” should “be to all people.” (Luke 2:10.)
Jesus was witnessed and visited by shepherds - symbolic of him becoming our “Good Shepherd” keeping us safe as he leads us back home! ☺️
Tresta Neil is a homeschool mother of eight. She was born with curiosity and increases that curiosity through symbology!