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. He 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 2:1-6 NLT
The magi traveled a long distance to find Jesus. According to Bible scholars the trip was somewhere around 900 miles. A trip of this magnitude would have taken weeks and would have been very expensive. While we think that it was three magi, it was probably a caravan including some armed guards to protect the traveling group of scholars. They prepared and planned for this trip. It was not a casual experience. I have always been struck by the response to the arrival of the magi. Their caravan arriving in Jerusalem attracted some attention. King Herod heard of these strangers from another country that had arrived and were asking about the birth of a king. Evidently these magi were important enough to King Herod had a personal meeting with them. Since Herod didn’t know the Jewish prophets, he called the leading priests and teachers of the Jewish law to give him and answer to where this king was to be born. The Jewish leaders knew exactly where the king was to be born—in Bethlehem. With this news the magi quickly made the short trip from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to find the king. And here is my interesting observation, the Jewish leaders didn’t make the trip to Bethlehem. The Jewish leaders had the right answer about the location of Jesus’ birth, but they were too busy with their lives to go and find this newborn king. Perhaps they had a sermon to prepare or a building project to complete. Perhaps they were doing good things for the Temple. But in their “good” activities they missed one of the greatest moments of all time. They missed the birth of the King of kings. Let’s not be like the Jewish leaders. Let’s be like the magi. Let’s make whatever sacrifice is necessary to get ourselves in the place of the King.
Holy Spirit please help me to seek Jesus this Christmas. Help me not to get so busy I miss His life.
“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”