It’s that time of week again! I have been so blessed to be able to share what has been on my heart with all of you this month. We are just about to finish our Christmas Bible Study!
Last week, we read about how the Jewish shepherds were the only ones to receive the announcement of the birth of Christ. What a privilege to be the ones who were asked to spread the news. But still no one seemed to take notice of Him for the first two years of His life. Today we are going to read how a group of Gentiles discovered that a Savior had been born. Go ahead and read Matthew 2:1-12.
Even though Jesus was the Desire of all nations, no one even noticed that He came into this world (John 1:11). The Magi were astrologers from the royal court of the king of Persia and they noticed this amazing star because they study them. It was the most extraordinary star they had ever seen, so different from anything that was common that they knew it must represent something that is uncommon. The God of the universe chose to reveal Himself where the pagans were looking. The Jews paid no attention to him but these Gentiles sought him out.
As soon as they saw the star they knew it represented the birth of the King of the Jews. They immediately went to Jerusalem certain that they would find all of the Jewish nation worshipping at the feet of their King. Their question was prepared, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” If asked what the men of the east wanted with the King of the Jews their answer would be, “We saw ‘His star’ in the east and have come to worship him.” Instead, no one knew any information about him. What is more troubling is that when King Herod heard this news he was troubled “and ALL Jerusalem” with him. They knew He was coming. He was their salvation. Yet no one wanted Him because the kingdom of the Messiah would conflict and interfere with the secular powers and would change the way they were doing things.
Even after the religious leaders were told of Jesus’ birth and they themselves quoted the scripture (Micah 5:2) foretelling this event, they chose not to follow the Magi the seven miles to Bethlehem to worship Him. They took Him for granted. The next generation of these same people sought His death. The line between taking Him for granted and wanting Him out of the way is thin today too. Think about this: taking Him for granted and wanting Him out of the way were sins of the “religious people.”
But the Magi searched until they found their Savior. They saw the star in the east and they knew to go to Jerusalem to search for the King. When they did not find Him there, they went toward Bethlehem and the star reappeared. The same star they saw in the east became a candle leading them to the Christ child. Can you imagine how they felt when they found that the King of King’s palace was a cottage and His only attendant was His mother? When they saw Jesus, they fell before Him and worshipped Him, submitting themselves and then presenting their gifts: Gold because He was a king; Frankincense because He was a God; and Myrrh because He was a man who would die (myrrh was used in embalming). How awesome it must have been to have an emptiness in your life for all those years and find the source of wholeness at the feet of the Christ child. How incredible it must have been to know that you were one of only a handful that recognized who this Child really was. The birth of Christ was reported to the Jewish shepherds by an angel and to the Gentile philosophers by a star. God spoke to both in their own language and in the way they were most likely to understand. He does the same thing today to anyone who is searching for Him. Praise the awesome name of our Lord!
Be looking for the last part of our Bible Study on Christmas morning!
Lenett Thrasher, Pastor’s Wife