Behold, magi from the east came to Jerusalem . . . (Matthew 2:1)
Matthew says "behold" to make sure he has our attention. He knows how prone we are to fall asleep while we're reading.
"Wake up. Make sure you're listening. This is huge. Don't miss it. It's not what you'd expect..."
But what's so shocking about magi coming to Jesus? We might be so used to this annual Christmas story that we're not surprised, like Matthew wants us to be, that magi came to Jesus. Don't they come every Christmas?
We should we be surprised. Because magi is an ancient word referring to pagan astrologers. And since they dabble in the dark arts, we eventually got our English word magic from such …