MAT 2:1-12 ESV
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “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.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem,
in the land of Judah,
are by no means least
among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way.
And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Even wise men from far away came to celebrate Christ’s birth, but those who served evil feared this. Isn’t this still true today? Don’t some of us fear the idea of stepping into the light of the truth because we are so familiar with our sinful pleasures? Aren’t some of us so deep in the clutches of sinful slavery that we’ve accepted this as our lives and even learned to take pleasure in things that we know are bad for us? Yes, we were all lost once or we are still lost now.
But isn’t it wonderful to know that He promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him. He has seen us Jesus Christ, the light of the world, Good come in the flesh, to show us the way. Like a star in the sky leading us to Bethlehem, to the story of the Christ child – a virgin birth, a sinless life, a life of service unto others, a life of sharing the good news, a blameless sacrifice on the cross for all sin, a resurrection from the grave and ascention into heaven, a promise that grace and belief are sufficient because they will produce repentance.
And just like in the case of the wise men, His promises are true that He will guide us and protect us from evil.
How can I apply this today?
Today, let me be mindful of the absolute wonder and glory of the God of Creation, the omniscient, the omnipotent, reaching down in love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace to a mankind unworthy of those gifts – coming into this world as a baby in a manger and walking the narrow path leading Him to the cross. Even in times of challenge and trial, holding fast to His faith to accomplish our salvation.
Let this motivate me to grattitude and be a reminder that this salvation of mine is an undeserved gift, not a product of my own works – so I have no reason for pride or judgement towards others, but I have every reason for hoping that all might find the same salvation that I have received.