Around this time of year, we read and think about verses like this. We remember how God had a plan from the beginning of the ages and strategized, plotted, and planned every detail of how the Son of God, Jesus our Messiah, would make His entrance into the world- the first entrance that is. Have you ever thought about the details that the Father went through in preparation for Jesus’ birth?
He planned the location of His arrival- Bethlehem, the city of David. He planned many details that would require the involvement of prophets that lived hundreds of years before Jesus would show up on the scene. He spoke to people like Isaiah and David, revealing the characteristics of the Messiah, details such as being born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), His suffering (Isaiah 52-53, Zechariah 12:10, Psalm 22, Psalm 118:22-24), and so much more! The Father indeed is a divine planner.
One detail that we at Global Catalytic Ministries find very special is that men would come from the east, following the signs in the sky (the stars). These men, called the “Magi”, are not only said to be from the east, but many believe were actually Persians- which is modern day Iran.
In ancient Persia there was a religion that predates Islam called “Zoroastrianism” which was founded by the world’s first philosopher, Zarathustra. The term “Magi” referred to Zoroastrian priests and they were known to be “wise men”. They were educated in what is modern day Afghanistan and then sent out as missionaries to other parts of the Middle East. They were influential and were received by many villages influencing much of what is Iran today with peace and living in harmony with nature and each other. They were known for their understanding of astronomy and dream interpretation. Persian scholars today even believe that the bones of the three wise men lay near the capital city of Iran, Tehran. (More here)
Understanding this history of the people of these lands begs the question, “Had God prepared the people of the Middle East for Jesus’ arrival?” God is not bound by culture, language, or even religion. He is committed to reach human beings and will use whatever means necessary. We can see how God has been speaking to mankind since the beginning, to His prophets, and to those even a part of other religions, to draw them to His Son, Christ Jesus.
Today, we are witnessing an unprecedented moment in history where Jesus Himself is showing up to Muslims everywhere as “the Man in White”. This Christmas season, we encourage you to look to God in a new way, with a new hope in your heart. The world may look dark, but the Lord is doing something great in our day and in our time. Let us think upon the mighty works of God and be thankful that He is alive and active. We do not have to rely on our own strength, He is still drawing men to Himself today.