Welcome to the June edition of Good News, the monthly newsletter of the Fairview Park church of Christ! We hope that you find the articles below helpful, edifying, and true to the Bible. If you find the articles helpful in your Bible study, please click here to forward this e-mail to a friend. May God bless you as you study his word!
The Irony of the Wise Men
by Jacob Hudgins
“Now after 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 who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him’” (Matt 2:1-2).
The appearance of the wise men is jarring and unexpected. Who are these men? Where do they come from and where are they off to? The word “wise men” is a vague and difficult term to define, with meanings stretching from magician to astronomer.
The Arabian Desert is an absolutely desolate place—enormous dunes, rock mountains, extremely scarce vegetation, and almost no water. Moses called it “that great and terrible wilderness”(Deut 1:19)—a description that surely drew some “Amen”s from the crowd. Isn’t it a little surprising that after a great deliverance through the Red Sea, God brought His people—here? Why?
“It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart”(Phil 1:7).
Christian relationships are not mercenary. It would be easy to see Paul’s relationship with the Philippians as simply financial—they had sent him money, after all—but that would neglect the depth and flavor of the emotions involved. He says that he feels a certain way about them (Phil 1:7), and that he holds them in his heart (Phil 1:7). He tells the Thessalonians that “being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us”(1 Thess 2:8). We learn here what Christian relationships should look like.