Sunday, April 19, 2015

Look at the Star. It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No! It's the King!

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.’ King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem” (Matthew 2:1-3, NLT). The wise men seeking “the newborn king of the Jews,” which led to Herod’s jealous rage. After all, Herod should be worship because he was the “king”, and reigned over the Jews at that time… so it seem…

The wise men seem to have specialized in astronomy, but they may have interpreted dreams and had other special knowledge and abilities. They referred to Jesus’ “star.” The Book of Numbers mentions a “star” (24:17) coming out of Jacob (refers to a location of God’s people), but how would the wise men have known that the star represented the Messiah? Perhaps they were descendants of Jews who had remained in Babylon after the Exile and thus grew up knowing the Old Testament prophecies. Or they may have studied ancient manuscripts. Or perhaps God had given them a special message. In any case, they travelled to Jerusalem, the capital city, expecting to find a young king there. Herod had no idea what they were talking about but felt threatened by this talk of a “king.” So he assembled the Jewish religious leaders and asked them.

[Herod] called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, ‘Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?’ ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they said, ‘for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel’” (Matthew 2:4-6). Interestingly, the Jewish leaders told Herod and the wise men that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2), but they didn’t go themselves. These visitors – the wise men – from faraway lands recognized Jesus as the Messiah when most of God’s chosen people in Israel did not.

The wise men travelled thousands of miles searching for the One who had been born King of the Jews. “The star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!” (Matthew 2:9-10). And when they found Jesus, the King of the Jews, the Messiah, God’s Son, they joyfully worshiped him and presented gifts fit for a king: “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (2:11).

Think about this: Sometime knowing ‘about’ God doesn’t lead us to seeking the real God. King Herod was a very religious man, but when he found out that there was a “King” to be born, he was threatened, furious and rage to jealousy and planned to kill baby Jesus. The priests and teachers of religious leaders knew that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem as the Scriptures said and yet they didn’t go seeking Him for themselves. We can be religious, talks and talks, words by words, evangelized and teaching people, but it doesn’t matter to God if we didn’t seeking God’s King for ourselves. God always give us “star” that will lead us to Jesus. Like the wise men, our focus should be on the “star” and do whatever it takes to find the Truth. And when you find the Truth (I’m sure you will if you follow God’s lead), the “star” become insignificant to you because now you have found God’s King, the Messiah, God’s Son – Jesus Christ – and your heart will be filled with water spring of joy! The immediate reaction will be telling, you can’t help it but to burst in worship!

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32, NLT)

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