How Do You Know What is Happening?
Matthew wants us to see beyond the surface: Jesus Messiah, Son of David, Son of Abraham. He led us through royal/mixed genealogy. He showed us Mary’s unusual pregnancy, Joseph’s challenge of faith, new meaning of “God with us.” He says hardly a word about Jesus’ birth itself, but brings in other eyes, outside witnesses of events around the birth.
The gifts of the Magi are vulnerable to misuse, adapting the story to our worship of Mammon. But for Matthew this is the clash of two visions of kingship, power, what really matters. The Magi are the world/nations at large, given an opportunity to see what God’s people, who should have been eagerly looking, cannot see because of corrupt, blinding power.