How Would You Respond? Part 2
It is my hope and prayer that you have had a great Christmas celebration among family and friends. We have been talking about how people respond differently to Christmas. For some the Christmas celebration would continue until January 6th Some have started to take off their decorations and getting ready for valentine’s Day. People respond differently. We have seen the responses of people in the Christmas story. We know Mary accepted the task of being the mother of the Messiah; the shepherds heard the news of the birth of Israel’s messiah and they went to investigate and worshiped God for what they witnessed. The angel had announced that the news of the Savior would bring joy to all people. Luke 2:10. It is true that this news should bring joy to everyone; however, there are some who feel threatened by the Savior. There are those who have no room in their lives for him. There was a king in Judea who wasn’t glad when he heard the news that a potential king had been born.
Matthew 2 tells us the story. After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, Magi (wise men) from the east came looking for him.
“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.”
Who were these magi? (Astrologers, magicians, wizards, wise men) Their research had brought them to Jerusalem. They studied the stars and concluded that a king had been born. These magi were not Jews and yet they came looking for the king of the Jews. The prophet Daniel was considered a wise man in the Babylonian empire. The magi were familiar with Jewish prophecies and Jewish customs. The Jews during their exile influenced those they served as slaves. Daniel is the prophet who spoke about when the Messiah would appear and when he would die. These magi did their research, they investigated, and their journey led them to Jerusalem.
They announced this to King Herod, who felt threatened that a potential king was born. (v.3) When Herod heard this, he was troubled. Then he moved into action.
– He looked into this matter (v.4) HE began to investigate.
– He called together the experts of his kingdom: chief priests and teachers of the law. Where was this king supposed to be born? In Bethlehem in Judea since that is what the prophecy states. Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
– Herod sent the magi on a secret mission: Go find the child and when you find him report to me so I can also go worship him.
Herod is threatened by the news of a king; there is no room in his heart for another king but him. His desire was to eliminate Jesus once and for all.
The end of the journey
The magi finally found the child and his mother. They found the house Mary and Joseph lived. Notice that they went in the house; this wasn’t a manger. (v.11)
How did the Magi respond? (v.11)
They worshiped Jesus and presented him gifts: Gold, incense and myrrh.
They went back to their country by a different route.(v.12)
Two different responses:
Two responses: they both believed the message and were moved to search the truth of it. Only the Magi responded in worship and adoration; Herod responded with jealousy and anger. No room in his heart to worship the king.
How are you going to respond to Jesus? Do you have room in your life for him? Will you worship him as king and Savior? What will you offer him? The Magi offered him worship and treasure. What are you giving Jesus today; this new year that begins tomorrow?