Worship the King
I hope and pray you had a great Christmas celebration. Just like people respond differently to Christmas, they also respond different to the good news of Jesus. We have been journeying through the story of the first Christmas and how people responded to the news.
When the angel announced to Mary that she would have a baby, she was overwhelmed with the news. However, she responded with trust and obedience. The shepherds heard the news and went to inquire the truth of it. Then they spread it to those around. A month after the birth of Jesus, a prophet said that Jesus was God’s salvation; a light of revelation to the Gentiles and the consolation of the Jewish people. 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 of 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 when it rose 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 as far as we know; however, they came looking for a Jewish king. The prophet Daniel was considered a wise man in the Babylonian empire. (Dan.4:7-9). Daniel lived through the Persian Empire also. These 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. (Dan.9:25-27) These astrologers did their research, they were the scientists of the day; they studied the stars and concluded a king had been born. Their research led them to Jerusalem. “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (v.2)
They saw the star when it rose in the east, the king star. (The starofbethlehem.net) (v.3) When Herod heard this, he was troubled (disturbed). Then he moved into action.
– He investigated the matter (v.4)
– He called together the experts (wisemen) 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 job would be to conquer Jesus. John the Revelation writing saw this in a vision. Rev.12:1-6
The end of the journey
The magi finally found the child and his mother. They found the house Mary and Joseph were staying. (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, trusted their calculations and what they knew about a Jewish king; they traveled far away in their search of the child. When they found him, they worshiped him and offered him gifts.
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 news that a king was born. They all were moved to search for the king. The Magi wanted to worship; Herod wanted to kill him for he had no room in his life for another king but himself.
How are you going to respond to the news that Messiah King came to earth? Do you have room in your life for him? Or are you threatened by who he is? Those who truly seek Jesus find themselves bowing down in worship and offering gifts. What are you willing to offer Jesus, your King?