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The Worshipped King

Immanuel, The Worshipped King
Matthew 2:1-12.

Once, I was with some friends, and we saw a famous person; they all got very excited, but I did not. When they began chatting about the celebrity, they realised why I missed the excitement.

Matthew presents Jesus in a famous manner that demands a response that those who know Him can not miss out on. The gospel begins by showing that the nature of Jesus' birth proves He is the one all history and prophecies point to. He is
  • The Promised King. He is of David's lineage (Matthew 1:17, 2 Samuel 7:13).
  • The Promised Saviour. He is the seed of a woman, i.e. not of man but of God, like the first Adam (Matthew 1:18, Genesis 3:15).
  • The Promised Lord. He is Immanuel - God with us - Israel's God is here (Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14).

So the news is out that Israel's God - The Messiah King, The Saviour, The Lord - whom all generations hoped for is now here. This news got out by a sign (v2), by word of wisdom (v2) and by Scriptures (v5-6). So, how would people respond to this breaking news? The passage shows three kinds of responses.

  • Wave aside - Chief priests (v3-6)
When the Wise Men asked, "Where is [the newborn] king of the Jews?" (v2) and Herod enquired, the ones with the answers were the chief priests (v4-6). They knew what the Scriptures said about Christ's birth. But did they really know Him? The chief priests provided information to Herod and the wise men but waved the news aside. [That's nice, good on them, not for me to worry about.]

  • Wage war - Herod (v3, 7, 16)
Unlike the chief priests, Herod took the news or rather the implications of the news seriously but with evil motives. If a true Jewish king is born, and Herod is not Jewish, what does that mean for Herod? And therefore, he and his Jerusalem parliament are in serious trouble (v3). And so he secretly plots to kill (v7-8) and sets off to kill (v16). [The Saviour King can not be Lord; I don't want to hear it. My life, my way.]

  • Worship - Wise Men (v9-11)
Some other people took this news seriously, the Wise Men from the East. They saw a sign that pointed to the King and decided this was the King to worship (v3). So the sign led them to the King, and they worshipped Him (v11). They also encountered the great joy of knowing the King (v10). The Wise Men [Magi] were not particularly people of Faith. Magi were astrologers, detailed observers of times and seasons, and were considered wise in their observations (Daniel 2:48, 5:11). Could Matthew be using a wordplay here? Could he be saying that Wisdom is knowing that Jesus is Lord and I must worship Him?!

So, when I hear the Word of God, do I quickly wave it aside? Do I fight against it? Maybe I don't like some things the Bible says. Or do I patiently seek to meet Jesus to worship Him? The greatest gift to mankind is Christ! Those who know Him worship Him and are surprised by joy!

Reflect & Pray
How do you respond to the sign, His Word? What joys have you found in your journey?
Thank You, Jesus, for the joy found in Your Lordship. We love You and worship You. Amen.

God bless you exceedingly,
Sam.

P.S. Merry Christmas.

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