Welcome to the POG Blog! Please begin with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal what He wants you to see! 2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 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, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
For some reason I can’t ever seem to read this story without getting a little emotional. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s because it is one that I was told over and over as a little girl around Christmas time….it elicits warm memories. Or maybe it is the simple beauty of the story. We learned in church yesterday that the magi were probably pagan, worldy, and distinguished. They would have been people who are successful according to the world. They were in with the right people.
Yet some force (the pull of a star) lead them to find this child and worship him. These guys weren’t schooled in Hebrew theology. It seems like they didn’t even know of the prophecies about the Christ until they reached Jerusalem. They just “saw his star and had come to worship him”.
Two different ideas strike me about this. First, is that even from the very beginning, God chose unlikely people to play a role in his story. Pagan, unchurched men. It is if he is trying to make sure they we all understand that He is for EVERYONE! Rich, poor, religious or not, sinner or saint.
The second is how these magi so single-mindedly followed this star. Even though they really didn’t understand the depth of meaning behind this King of the Jews. I can’t imagine ever doing something so illogical. After years of following the blue line on my GPS, I can’t imagine having the faith or patience to follow a star. I wonder how many “wrong turns” they took. Or how many days/months it took them to find Him. Or how many times they all wondered if they were totally crazy and should probably turn around and go home. I also wonder how that must have felt when they finally found Him and worshiped Him. How God must have affirmed their hearts for their obedience.
So I think this passage is telling me today….that God wants to draw everyone to Himself…and that (according to our pastor) I am one of the ‘everyones’. And that God wants me to follow Him and His will in my life with the same singular focus that the magis had when they were following that star.