Bible Verse: And when they came into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:1
Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-16
We don’t know much about the “wise men” (Magi) from the East, such as how far they travelled or where they came from. We have historically assumed that there were three men, given that they gave three gifts, but the Bible is unclear.
Some scholars believe they were astrologers who studied manuscripts from around the world. Others suggest that each wise man was from a different nation, symbolizing the entire world at the time, all bowing down to the one true King, fulfilling the prophecy that all nations would seek Him. Like the other faith characters we are studying this week, the Magi had extraordinary faith in God’s master plan.
They believed that the star represented the Saviour of the world.
The Magi journeyed far to witness the arrival of the new King, who was believed to be the world’s Saviour. Some scholars speculate that the Magi had access to a copy of the Old Testament and could identify the star, thus fulfilling the prophecy they had studied. However, it is more plausible that they received a divine sign from God to guide them towards the Messiah. Regardless of which scenario is true, it would have required unwavering faith to travel such a great distance on mere suspicion.
They honoured Him without expectations.
When the wise men finally found the Messiah, they honoured Him and showered Him with gifts without expecting anything in return. How different is that from what we do? We often pray to God with a specific list of requests, hoping He will show us evidence of His existence and grant us our every wish. However, the wise men’s approach was different. They simply worshipped and honoured Him, recognizing His divine nature. We should adopt their approach and worship God for who He is rather than for what He can do for us.
They put Him first at their peril.
Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 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.” – Matthew 2:7
The Magi would be highly esteemed and likely rewarded by Herod if they had betrayed the location of the Christ. However, they chose to take a different route home, which was likely much longer. As I grow older, I value comfort more and more. But obeying God is not always comfortable. We also don’t learn unless we get outside our comfort zone. Nevertheless, our reward of eternal life in heaven makes it worth it.
Prayer: Father, I know I prefer comfort over obedience at times. Please change my heart to prioritize Your will over my wants and needs.
Reflection: Is there a part of your life where comfort has pushed God to the sidelines? What can you do this week to change it?
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