“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod
Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one
who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star
in the east and have come to worship him.’ On coming to the house,
they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.
Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold incense and myrrh”
Matthew 2:1-2, 11 (NIV)
We usually read this passage when we think about Jesus’ birth. Today, let’s think about the three Magi.
The three wise men came to Bethlehem in search of the babe that had been born King of the Jews. They had studied the scrolls that told of this child who was like none other. They journeyed a great distance to visit this child.
They came so they could worship Him. They had no other agenda but to honor and adore this child about whom they had read in prophecy. They also searched the heavens as they looked for a sign of the baby’s birth.
You know the story; the travelers got lost and found their way to the court of Herod, the king of Israel. Herod and all Jerusalem became alarmed. He asked the Magi to return to his court after they found this child and tell him where they found him. Herod’s words told them that he wanted to worship the baby as well.
I see the worship the Magi did was true worship. The bowed down before the Christ Child. They bestowed gifts to Him. These gifts were precious in that time.
On the other hand, Herod told a big lie. He said that he wanted to worship the child. We read that his intent was to slay the babe. His soldiers wreaked havoc among the families in Bethlehem. The soldiers struck terror in the hearts of all who had had children under the age of two.
In our 21st Century, we need to examine how we worship God. Do we approach God with humility? Do we ask for His forgiveness? Then do we try to repent (turn away from our sinful habits?)
I remember a well-known person who, when he ‘apologized’ to our nation, turned the statement into a finger pointing speech to those who held different political beliefs. As I saw it, he really didn't say that he was sorry for that particular transgression. When we confess our sins before God, we have to come clean before Him. We can’t get out of it by saying it’s someone else’s fault or they made us do it. God knows and see all that we do.
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