Lord Jesus, King of kings, show me more of Yourself as I read Your Word today, I pray.
Read MATTHEW 2:1-23
 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.  “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:  “‘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 be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”  Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”  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 with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.  When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”  So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,  where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”  When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.  Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:  “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”  After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt  and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”  So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.  But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee,  and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow was the newborn king protected from his enemies?
The genealogy in Matthew 1:1-17 contains many “kings of the Jews,” but here we encounter Gentiles, the wise men, who give Jesus that title. It only appears again in 27:37 when another Gentile, Pilate, calls Jesus “King of the Jews.” There are interesting parallels to be made with the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon (1 Kings 10:1-10) and her gifts of gold and spices. By the early third century these “wise men” were referred to as “kings.” What characteristics of kingship does Matthew give them?
Herod, conversely, models cruel kingship, in stark contrast to the adult kingliness of the Christ. Herod could hardly call this unknown king “king of the Jews,” so he refers to him in v. 4 as “the Messiah.” This new unwanted member of the “royal” family is perceived by Herod as a threat to his rule and, so, must be destroyed. The wise men, minor characters in the Christmas story in some ways, did their best to thwart Herod’s grand plan. The amazing fact is that Jesus the King was first acknowledged as such by non-Jews, a theme that Matthew will take up again in 8:11,12 and 28:19.
Reflect on what it means to you that Jesus is a king. What do you bring to worship him?
King Jesus, I acknowledge You as King of my life and Lord of all. Rule in me each day, I pray.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.