WHO WERE THE MAGGI THAT CAME TO VISIT JESUS
The chapter 2 of the Gospel of Matthew tells us about certain ‘Maggi’ that went to worship Lord Jesus after He was born (Matthew 2:1-2).
The Bible does not specify their number, but the tradition that they were three, was born from the number of presents they gave the Lord, when they met Him; gold, frankincense a myrrh (Matthew 2:11).
It is assumed they arrived around two years after the Lord was born, since they found Him living in a house (Matthew 2:11), and the children that King Herod killed were up to two years old, ‘according to the time’ he was given by the Maggi (Matthew 2:16).
The idea that they were three and that they were kings is only based on folklore. The Bible calls them ‘Maggi’ that came from the East (Matthew 2:1), obviously referring to the Iranian Priestly Zoroastrian class, who held that name on the ‘East’ of Judah.
Zoroastrianism, is a Henotheistic faith born from the ancient Vedic religion of the Arians, that followed the teachings of Zoroaster, who lived around 500 years before Jesus, and who held similar ideas to Judaism, like the supreme good, a ‘Messiah’ (Saoshyant), personal moral freedom, and eternal punishment and rewards in the afterlife, however still holding to other Vedic beliefs.
Zoroastrianism became the official faith of Persian empire, and that gave way to a priestly class, called Maggi, which should not be confused with the later western magicians who practiced only sorcery and witchcraft.
The Persian Maggi were in charge of performing the ceremonies described in the Avesta, that contains the teachings of Zoroaster. They were mostly inspired in the old Vedic ceremonies, and as part of their rituals and theology they practiced astrology, which at the time was mixed with astronomy, which only became a separately discipline much later.
They must have been familiar with the Jewish scriptures (Matthew 2:2), and by constant watching of the skies and constellations for their own purposes, they discovered the star that guided them to Lord Jesus.
They came to worship Jesus because they knew He was someone important from God, whom they called Ahura-Mazda; and because in their religion, they worshipped minor deities and demigods, inferior to their main eternal deity.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM
The Bible does not tell us what happened to them afterwards, saved that once it was revealed to them in a dream not to reveal Jesus’s place to Herod, they ‘returned to their own country’ (Matthew 2:12). But many legends grew in devoted people about them. However, one thing we can be sure of. NOBODY who has an encounter with JESUS is ever the same again.
For this reason, it is almost certain, that they were changed after seeing Lord Jesus, speaking to his parents, and being guided by God through the star to Him.
Most probably, they became Christians and went back, like the Ethiopian of Acts, to preach Christianity to their homeland.
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