December 27, 2015

The star and the search: How will you respond?

Filed under: Church life,Idle Ramblings — pearsey @ 4:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Christmas time is a time to reflect on the Christmas story and the characters that we read and hear about so much at this time of the year.

In Matthew 2:1-12 we read about Herod and the wise men from the east.  The wise men, or magi, had been keeping an eye on the sky and noticed a new star appear. They decided to follow the star, heading to Jerusalem in search of the one who had been born King of the Jews (2:2).  Even at this early stage, the wise men recognised Jesus as King of the Jews and were seeking Him to worship Him.

Imagine the wise men, deciding to seek Jesus.  Whatever they were doing at that stage in their lives, they abandoned, they left behind families, possibly wives and children, jobs, livelihoods and property in their search for the King.  There was no earthly guarantee they would make it to their destination – it was a long and dangerous journey across country that was known for robbers and hardships.  How many of us could, or would, take time out of our regular lives and undertake a journey of this nature?

After the wise men made it to Jerusalem, they paid a visit to Herod, enquiring after the King Jesus.  Why would they go and see Herod when the star would have led them directly to Bethlehem?  Perhaps it would be natural to assume that a new king would come from the current line of kings, which at this stage was Herod.

Sadly though, Herod was only interested in this new king because Jesus was a threat to his rule.  He was well known as a brutal, ruthless and insecure king, a point he highlighted when he ordered the slaughter of all young boys under the age of 2, hoping that Jesus would be killed as part of this group.

The chief priests and scribes, the ones who knew the scriptures like the back of their hands, were able to point the wise men to where Jesus had been born, but yet they didn’t care to go and look for Him, to find the one who was to one day lead them.

Despite the discouragement from Herod and the chief priests, the wise men continued their search.  The star led them to Jesus, and when they found Him, they presented their gifts and offerings and bowed down to worship Him.

If we’re genuinely seeking Jesus, God will provide a sign as we seek Him, it will involve a journey with a cost and discouragement, but we are guaranteed to find Him: Jeremiah 29:13 says “you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart”.

When we look for Jesus, we will find Him, when we truly find Him, we will worship Him and give Him all we have.

How will you respond this Christmas?  Will you be like Herod who responded with hatred and fear?  Will you be like the chief priests and scribes who responded with indifference?  Or will you be like the wise men, who went seeking Jesus, overcame discouragement and responded with worship and adoration, bringing their gifts as an offering?


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