Responding to the News of the Savior Part 2
Christmas is a time of joy and celebration for some; families get together, giving and receiving gifts. For others it’s time of stress; some experience sadness because they don’t have loved ones with them anymore. People respond to Christmas differently; some really go overboard with the celebration while others could care less that there is even a holiday called Christmas. When a news is announced people respond differently as well; some believe it without hesitation, some show concern about what is being announced, some just don’t care.
When the birth of Jesus was announced to Mary, she was overwhelmed with the news. However, she responded with trust and obedience. The shepherds heard the news and went to inquire the veracity of it. The news of the birth of the Messiah didn’t make everyone happy. Someone was really troubled by this news. We can read about this in the gospel of Matthew.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem seeking for a king.
“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 brought them to Jerusalem.
They announced this to King Herod, who wasn’t happy to hear that there was a Jewish king.
(v.3) When Herod heard this, he was troubled. Then he moved into action.
– He looked into this matter (v.4)
– 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. Herod is operating on behalf of Satan, whose joy would be to conquer Jesus.
The end of the journey
The magi finally found the child and his mother. They found the house Mary and Joseph lived. (v.11)
How did the Magi respond?
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:
The magi, believed the prophecy of a Jewish king, searched for the child for a long time; traveled far away in their search of the child. When they found him, they worshiped him and offered him gifts. They were glad to have completed their mission.
Herod: believed the message of the Magi; He was troubled by the news of a king. Inquired of the child for the purpose of killing him. There is no room in his heart for this king.
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 the news of a Savior? Do you have room in your life for him? Will you worship him as king and Savior? When it comes to Jesus, we either worship him or not. Those who worship Jesus are those who believe and accept him as King, Savior and King.
When you search for Jesus, you will find him; and worship is the proper response of those who found Jesus, those who believe in him.