Recognize the King!
Lord Jesus Christ, You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Your faithfulness knows no end. How truly great You are!
Read MATTHEW 2:1-23
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.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15). And what a gift it is: life with God through Christ, our Lord.
Although Matthew’s Gospel was written with Jews especially in mind, he also wants to emphasize that Jesus, the King of the Jews, would bring God’s peace and justice to the whole world (See, for example, Isa. 11:1-10). And the first people to recognize who Jesus really was were Gentiles! These verses show how different people reacted to Jesus.
Animosity and rejection: note how Herod responded to Jesus (8,16). Any new “King of the Jews” was a threat, and Herod, who willingly slaughtered members of his own family when he thought they were scheming against him, would think nothing of killing babies to ensure that a pretender did not usurp his throne.
Mediocre indifference: the priests and teachers seemed aware of where the Messiah would be born (4-6), but they did not seem to be concerned to go further and seek him out for themselves. They could quote Scripture accurately, but were indifferent to its implications or its demand for a personal response.
Humble worship: the Magi “bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures” (11), having been “overjoyed” (10). This is a good description of true worship: heartfelt, joyful and extravagant. Some take note of the actual gifts and suggest their significance: gold is the gift fit for a king, as Jesus was born to be; frankincense was used by priests in offerings, and here was the ultimate priest; and myrrh was used to embalm the dead, and this baby was born to die. So these gifts tell us who Jesus is, what he came to do and what it cost him. Who would not bow in wonder before a God who loves us that much!
John Newton once wrote in a sermon script, “Jesus Christ is precious!” How precious is Jesus to you? What gifts can and do you give him?
Lord, I am grateful You revealed Yourself to me and embraced me in Your love. I offer myself anew to You today.
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.
Encounter with God 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.