Wednesday, November 10, 2021
7-8 Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem and said, “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.”
9-10 Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!
11 They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.
12 In a dream, God warned them not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.
-Matthew 2:7-12 The Message
Verse 7: Then Herod secretly called for the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared.
Verse 8: And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.”
Verse 8 study: Herod’s only motive is was to kill Jesus, not worship him. Herod’s plan was through Magi, temporarily, until the Magi made their escape after being warned in a dream to go and not warn Herod of Jesus’ whereabouts.
Verse 9: After hearing the king, they went on their way; and behold, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on ahead of them until it came to a stop over the place where the Child was to be found.
Verse 10: When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
Verse 11: And after they came into the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary; and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Verse 11 study: Luke 2:39 has more information on why Mary and Joseph stayed in Bethlehem. When Magi found Jesus, he was only a year or two old. Mary and Joseph were married, had a house, and planned to stay in Bethlehem for a while. Now the Magi gave expensive gifts because it is worth it for a future king. Bible students see the gifts as symbols of Christ’s identity and what they accomplish. Gold was a gift for a king; frankincense is a gift of deity; myrrh is a spice for a person who was going to die. The gifts could have provided the financial resources for the trip to and from Egypt. What the Magi did in buying gifts is a true essence of worship. Honoring Christ for who he is and willing to give him what is valuable to you. Worship God because he is a perfect, almighty Creator of the universe worthy of the best you have to offer.
Verse 12: After being warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country in another way.
Verse 12 study: After finding Jesus and worshipping him, the Magi were warned by God through a dream not to return to Jerusalem as they planned. Finding Jesus means you may have to take a different direction in obedience and responsiveness to God’s word. When Jesus comes into your life, are you willing to be led another way?
Father, letting Jesus into our lives and listening is key to being able to hear you. I pray that when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, we will do it openly and allow us to be led differently. There is nothing wrong with being different. It shows others that you are diverse and authentic in what you believe in. Let us have that distinct personality separated from others. In Jesus’ name. Amen!