December 21, 2023

Journey of the Magi

Daily Devotional2 Minutes

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem … Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’”—Matthew 2:1–2 NIV

The Bible provides few details about the Magi. We know their origin, their destination, and the purpose of their journey from Persia to Judea. But what about the journey itself? We gain perspective from a painting by nineteenth-century French artist James Tissot called Journey of the Magi.

Tissot spent years honing his craft. Many of his paintings in his later years portrayed Bible stories, reflecting the influence of his mother, a devout believer. Studying his paintings, observers called them masterpieces, and his illustrations became recognized as definitive.

In his painting about the magi, Tissot imagined the part of their journey that took them through the “vast, arid landscape of the volcanic hills on the shores of the Dead Sea,” as described by one commentator. Photographs obviously don’t exist of these scenes, but Tissot’s painting makes it seem like we’re right there. We see the caravan led by the magi, their camels loaded down for a journey that already had taken them over hundreds of perilous miles.

Tissot’s painting helps bring insight into the journey of these men—the risks and dangers they faced, how lonely the journey must have seemed, and how determined they must have been to embark on this journey.

It reminds us of the determination and planning it took to follow that star and how God calls us to follow Him wherever He leads, regardless of the risks on our journey.

Reflection Question: Reflect on the hardest journey God’s asked you to take.

Prayer
Father, I commit my life to following You. Guide me. I am willing to go where You want me to go. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Today's Bible Reading
Matthew 2

Prayer
Father, I commit my life to following You. Guide me. I am willing to go where You want me to go. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Today's Bible Reading
Matthew 2