After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, behold wise men, philosophers, priests, and astronomers, learned men of the Eastern nations, came to Jerusalem, to Herod. Now Herod the Great, the son of Antipater, being appointed by Rome was the king of Judea. In this day of our Lord’s birth the scepter had departed from Judah, a foreigner being upon David’s throne.
So the Magi came to the king and spoke, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? Long we have traveled to come to this land, for we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him. Is this not foretold?”
A star will come out of Jacob;
a scepter will rise out of Israel.
“We have seen this omen of some remarkable event, a light that shines in a dark place. So we have come to seek out the source of this heavenly apparition, to learn what He has to teach us. It was His light the guided us to this place.”
The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, for his claim to the throne was illegitimate. Fear for his kingship grew as he pondered all the Magi spoke. For the king knew the prophecy well:
The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants,
until the coming of the one to whom it belongs,
the one whom all nations will honor.
So Herod gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people, inquiring of them where the long expected Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
~ Matthew 2:6
Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
For often it is that wicked people conceal, under a mantle of deceit, their evil designs, cloaked beneath the appearance of pious ambition. And so it was fulfilled as the scriptures foretold, even as the new-born King lay within the stone-cradle, that the government should be upon His shoulder.
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy, these Magi of the East, a noble witness of His divinity from heaven, and of His kingly estate from strangers.
The Star, the harbinger of hope, led them on to the Christ Child. For any who seek the Blessed Savior, God will guide; even if for a time it seems the Light has gone out, yet holding fast, it will reappear, to direct all who look, in the way to the Redeemer, for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (John 14:6)
As the wise men entered into the house, they saw the Child, great and beautiful, with Mary His mother. In heavenly homage the fell down upon their faces and worshiped Him, for they had found what they sought, the Christ, the King of kings.
These who were esteemed, cast down their high standing before Him who sits on the throne, and they worshiped Him who lives forever and ever, saying:
“You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”
~ Revelation 4:11
And in the illumination of the Savior, they took the gifts that they possessed, and having opened them, laid them at the feet of the Master, as all must do who serve. In humble and lovely reverence they gave: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Frankincense, a fragrant aroma, an offering to God;
Myrrh, bitter herb, for embalming the dead.
King, Lord, Savior.
The One to reign, rule, and redeem.
“Hast thou not a heart, though unworthy of Him, dark, hard, and foul?
Give it to him as it is, and be willing that He use and dispose of it as it pleases Him;
He will take it, and will make it better,
and thou shalt never repent having given it to Him.
He shall frame it to His own likeness,
and will give thee Himself, and be thine forever.”
~ Matthew Henry
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
~1 Timothy 3:16
Have a Blessed Christmas