Did you know that Daniel, the ‘Daniel of the Lion’s Den’ fame, is part of the Christmas story? Daniel was taken captive in Israel and then he was taken to a distant faraway land. Daniel was faithful to God, and continued to praise and worship Him. When he refused to stop worshiping God, he was thrown into the lions den. Because of God’s provision that night, Daniel was able to teach that faraway land about God. Due to his faith and the gifts God provided through him, eventually Daniel was appointed the leader of the Magi. As the Magi leader Daniel offered the Magi instruction and taught them the truths of his faith. Daniel taught them about God, and because of that training, when the time arrived they knew what to look for and who they were going to find.
Matthew 2:1-2 NASB
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
Daniel faithfully carried out his mission of serving God and creating disciples, and because of that we can fast forward 600 years and see the Magi arriving in search of the Newborn King. The Magi, a group of highly respected and authoritative gentile leaders were some of the first people who knew and recognized Jesus as the Messiah. All because Daniel did his part, six hundred years (give or take a year) later; the Magi became an important part of the Salvation story. The Magi bring Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, gifts for the King of the Jews; enough treasure for a trip to Egypt and deliverance from King Herod’s terrible tyranny. Daniel’s story reminds us that God’s plans for us are always good, and that God sees on a scale that we can’t comprehend. Just like Daniel, we may not see the results of our faithfulness, yet our part is important to God’s plans. Six hundred years made all the difference for Jesus and Jesus makes all the difference for us.