Monday, December 9, 2013

The Christmas Story: The Magi Story

From the moment the angels told the shepherds Jesus had arrived, people had been hearing the news that a Savior had been born. Many had come to see him...including some very wise men bringing gifts for the new King.

The Magi story in is Matthew 2:1-12:
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 when it rose and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  
And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Magi traveled a very long distance seeking to find the child born to be King. Along the way they encountered King Herod. The King had an evil motive and tried to use the Magi's worshipful journey for his own gain.

Thankfully they did not let him or his evil plans distract them for their mission. They traveled on and soon found the star standing over the place where Jesus and his parents were staying. The scriptures tell us they were excited to find Jesus and showered him with precious gifts. Then these faithful servants of God obeyed the warnings they were given during a dream and did not do what King Herod asked of them.

Just this week I was working on something that I felt was clearly directed by God. Then...out of the blue...came a huge distraction that not only took my focus off the task at hand, but also had me doubting the work I was doing.

This morning as I was working on this post...reading the Magi Story again...it hit me that I was allowing someone else's "evil motive" to interfere with the work God called me to do. It was a humbling realization for me. After requesting forgiveness from God...with a new resolve...I got myself back on track...and continued my focus on God's path for me.

Thinking back to the wonderful Magi Story...what an amazing sight it must have been for Joseph and Mary to have such highly regarded men coming to bow down to their baby son. To this day, the Magi are a shining example of obedience to God and a blessed reminder that all people (from shepherds to kings) must bow down and believe in Jesus.

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