“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.” Matthew 2:1-2
There is a winter storm headed our way. The weathermen have been tracking this big system for a while. Make no mistake, it will cover a vast distance and a big change is predicted. I just got the call that school is cancelled. Kids are excited, the adults are less so. Same event, two views.
Two thousand years ago a star appeared over Israel. Wise men from the east who had been awaiting the fulfillment of its prediction for some time had seen it. The Magi (our word magic comes from this word but they were not kind who with slight of hand create illusion) were learned men, scientists of their day who tracked celestial bodies for wisdom and prophecy and were seekers of truth. Make no mistake, they had traveled a vast distance (likely from Babylon or Persia) to reach the star and to witness the king who was to bring big change. (Numbers 24:17)
The first place these travelers stopped was in the capitol city to see the current king of the Jews and the Jewish religious leaders of Israel. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Certainly they of all people would: a) be watching for their long awaited King, it could have even been logically King Herod’s own child. If not, he most certainly would know where this king is and b) be excited about his arrival. But Matthew tells us quite clearly in his text he was not. The whole city was in fact, disturbed at the news. There is a lot packed into those two verses. Truth be told, the last thing King Herod wanted was apple cart upset. He was already so paranoid of losing his crown that he had murdered most of his own family. And most of the religious leaders (religion means relationship with God by the way) were busy doing anything but leading others into a relationship with God. Far too many of them were comfy with the status quo and bathing in the river of denial while cozying up to the Roman government. They weren’t watching for or seeking truth or change. The seekers from the east were excited, but those who should have been the most excited to hear this news were the least excited; the same event, two views.
Human beings today are no different. I have found that how I see things boils down to what I am looking for and what I am seeking. The Magi were seeking truth at its source; and what they found was Jesus Christ and they bowed down and worshiped Him. (John 14:6 and Matthew 2:11). Herod and most of the Jewish leaders were busy seeking and worshipping self and to them Christ posed a threat to their status quo. In fact, when I seek truth in my life, again and again I am led to Christ, which requires a change in me, specifically, to quit worshiping myself. UNCOMFORTABLE! But my gain is huge: serenity, joy, patience, kindness, forgiveness, salvation and the like. When I seek self and the status quo, I inevitably drown in denial, while Christ and the truth are the last thing I seek. In fact there are times I deliberately choose (like Herod and all of Jerusalem) to not seek Christ because I am comfy cozy in my sin and/or I just don’t want to give up things like: self pity, my need to be right, power, control, judgementalism, unforgiveness, gossip and the like. Ugh.
And for the change to be real and lasting it must be at a heart level, not a head level for I will never find Christ with a hard heart or in my head because there is nothing logical about this Savior of ours.
Wise men (and women) still seek Christ. And others still do not. Same event, two views.
Not too late, still time.
Be joy filled always,