After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child and his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
What a contrast we see in this chapter. First, we see the birth of Christ as an unwanted disruption to King Herod’s political agenda and to what lengths he would go to protect his power and prestige. On the other hand, we see the Magi traveling from far away lands to truly worship the new king and honor Him with gifts fit for a king. Most scholars believe that the Magi began their journey on the night that Christ was born and arrived in Jerusalem 1-2 years later. This rings true when King Herod killed all boys two years old and younger.
Just think of the disruption this meant for these wise men traveling from the east. This round-trip journey probably took 2-4 years. Talk about a major disruption! To them, the birth of this new King was significant. It was so important that they were willing to put their lives on hold to worship this new born King of the Jews. They did not see this commitment to worship Jesus as an inconvenience. Instead, they saw it as a significant event in human history. It was so significant that a new star appeared in the heavens.
Once they found the child, they worshipped Him with gifts appropriate for a king. This clearly demonstrates hearts filled with love and faith. Sometimes at Christmas we can get disgruntled by all the noise and distractions that are associated with the holiday. Sometimes we lose sight of that simple picture of God’s Son being born in a stable. The older I get the more I realize the value of “keep it simple.” With Christmas only being ten days away, decide for yourself now how you will keep Christmas simple this year.
Questions to Ponder
What are some of the differences we see in how the Magi approached Jesus’ birth as compared to Herod? What will you do this year to keep Christmas simple? What is the condition of your heart this Christmas season? Do you see worshipping Jesus as in inconvenience or an honor? If God called you away on a four-year mission assignment, how would you respond?
Spend some time in prayer meditating on what God revealed to you today.