1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for from you will come forth a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod secretly called for the magi and determined from them the exact ]time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.”
9 After hearing the king, they went on their way; and behold, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on ahead of them until it came to a stop over the place where the Child was to be found. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
11 And after they came into the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary; and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And after being warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him.” 14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He stayed there until the death of Herod; this happened so that what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent men and killed all the boys who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, Because they were no more.”
• It would have been so hard to make something fit as perfectly as it does. This chapter has 4 of the over 300 prophecies Jesus fulfills.
• In the Mormon bible, Joseph smith had to write additional verses at the end of chapter 50, at the end of genesis. He could not find ripe prophecy for the taking, to be interpreted to predict him.
• The reason this is important, is there are more prophecies in the Bible that have not yet been fulfilled. Christ says he is coming back. Much like Herod back then, Satan is not a legitimate king. Satan is troubled, because his dominion over this earth and over us has come to an end.
• The announcement of Jesus as foretold hundreds and even thousands of years ahead of time, gives us confidence in the words of God.
• We can be Herod and all of Jerusalem. Or we can be the magi.
• Jerusalem was perfectly content to sit around and ignore what God was doing around them. They averted their eyes from the star above because it was in their short-term best interest.
• Herod could have gone with the Magi, instead of paying lip service. The bible does not tell us of anyone who goes with them.
• The wise men were seekers, looking for the truth. They went to great lengths, sacrificing earthy possessions and a great deal of time. And when they found the Christ, they fell to the ground and worshiped.
• It did not matter that the magi were foreigners. They were not the religious leaders of the day; they were not Gods chosen people. They were far away from God, but God drew them to Him.
• When David was running from King Saul, his followers consisted of similar outsiders
• 1 Samuel 22:2 “And everyone who was in distress and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul gathered to him”
• David gathered the downtrodden, the rejects, and built-up a following. 1,000 years later Jesus would do the same thing, the religious establishment was content, already worshiping themselves and their wicked ways, they refused to look up, or make a 6-mile journey to Bethlehem.
• Sometimes we can feel like Jerusalem, thinking we’re on the inside of God’s plan. It can be easy to think of ourselves as a pretty good person who was raised in a Christian home, that we go to church, have religious friends. God shows us that isn’t enough.
• Make the trip to Bethlehem. Give what you have, and fall down before him.
Ways we can apply this text
• When God reveals himself, take time a figure out what he’s telling you.
• There is tension between taking time to listen, and to act when he tells you!
• Drawing near to God and serving Him takes obedience and sacrifice
• Study the Old Testament, it will enrich our understanding of who God is and what He has done.