“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, Wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we saw His star in the east, and are come to worship Him” (Matthew 2.1-2).
The Magi (“Wise-men”) seem to have been astrologer-priests from the ancient Persian Empire. Their visit to Jesus complements that of
the shepherds. The two groups could not have been more different. Racially, the shepherds were Jews, the Magi were Gentiles. Intellectually, the shepherds were simple, the Magi were scholars. Socially, the shepherds belonged to the world’s have-nots, the Magi, in light of the expensive gifts they brought, appear to have been wealthy.
Yet despite these barriers which normally separate people from one another, both the Magi and shepherds were united in their desire to worship the Christ Child.
As pluralism spreads, it becomes increasingly evident that other religions are ethnic, limited to a particular people and culture. Only Christianity is not. Nearly 80 percent of the people claiming to be Christians today are non-white and non-Western.
This is the universal appeal of Jesus, irrespective of ethnicity, nationality, or culture. It brought the shepherds from the fields and the Magi from the East. It still acts like a magnet, attracting people from all regions of the world. It is one of the most convincing evidences that Jesus of Nazareth is the Savior of the world.
– John Stott, Through the Bible, Through the Year