Monday, December 23, 2013

Steps to the Manger: The Magi - December 23, 2013

Matthew 2:1-2; Matthew 2:10-11 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[Wise Men] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 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, frankincense and myrrh.

They were known as the wisest men in their country, and kings and other leaders relied on their interpretation of signs and stars to know how to rule and govern their land. Since the time the Jewish captives lived in their kingdom, they had studied the ancient texts and prophecies about a future Messiah. He was to be not only for the Jews but for all of mankind, and he would save many. Now they had followed a strange and wondrous star that had brought them over the deserts to the Judean countryside.

Here they were on the way to see the wonder they had searched for all of their lives, but what could they bring that would be worthy? Their gifts seemed trivial and common to give to the king of the universe. How would the Messiah receive them? Although they were noble by birth, they had no more to offer than the humble gifts they would bring. The fact that they in faith had come so far to see the baby, seemed to be pleasing to the child's mother and father, and they would cherish this experience to their dying day.

Has God asked you to follow the signs and wonders He gives to you? Have you noticed unexpected answers to prayers and the many "God things" you encounter in life? His word tells us His promises, and they point to the One we have come to worship. Have you given Him your humble gift? Have you laid it all at His feet in faith? It is never too late to lay your all before Him and come and worship Him.

Painting The Adoration of the Magi, by Gentile da Fabriano, 1423

There were several steps of faith on the way to the manger, to the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus. Each of the characters had to take a step of faith and trust to help fulfill God's plan. God's conversation with mankind, his reconnection and plan of redemption would start with these faithful servants.

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