Reading the Word
Matthew 2:7–12 (ESV)
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Understanding and Applying the Word
This passage focuses on the worship of two different groups. The first group is represented by the wise men. They traveled from far away when they realized that Jesus, the Messiah, had been born. They brought gifts and bowed before Jesus in worship and adoration. The second group is represented by Herod. Though he said he desired to worship Jesus, he had no intentions of doing so. Herod’s only reason for wanting to know where Jesus was located was so he could have Jesus destroyed. Herod would not worship Jesus.
When we hear the news of Jesus, each of us must make a decision on what we will do with that news. There are really only two responses. Some will bow down and worship him as Lord and Savior. Others will refuse to do so and seek to deny Jesus. Each Christmas, we are confronted with a holiday that points the whole world to Jesus. What will we do with him?
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