Read Matthew 2:1-3. TEXT: 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" (Matthew 2:1-2).
Only four days remain in the Christmas season. So during these final days we turn our attention to the wise men who followed the star and came to worship the Christ Child.
Hundreds of years before Jesus' birth we encounter wise men or magi in the Old Testament book of Daniel. They were royal advisers who interpreted dreams, and studied astrology and magic. These wise men came from the east, most likely Persia, Babylon or Arabia. Because of their interest in astrology they noticed the star that God set in the heavens to announce the birth of His Son.
They followed that star westward until they reached Jerusalem and the palace of King Herod the Great. In his younger years, Herod had done great things for the Jews and proven himself to be a capable ruler. But in his older years he had grown paranoid. He even had many family members and close associates killed for fear they were plotting to assassinate him.
That is the reason Herod meets the good news of the Savior's birth with jealousy, fear and troubled thoughts. His anxiety quickly spreads to his subjects who fear how he will respond to this new threat to his power.
Many of us hesitate to embrace Jesus as Savior because we fear relinquishing our lives to His kingship. But Jesus offers us great joy, peace and love for this life-as well as the life to come.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You came to bring peace and joy to King Herod, the wise men, and to me. Give me a humble heart that welcomes You and remove my selfish reluctance to serve. Amen.
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