Clergy View: The wonder child of Christmas

(Matthew 2:1, 2. From the Message Bible)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory -- this was during Herod’s kingship -- a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on a pilgrimage to worship him.”

When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly: It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land, no longer bringing up the rear. From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.”

Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem and said, “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.”


Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves. They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!

They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh.

In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.

I am filled with wonder reading about Jesus’ birth and life.

I wonder at the men from the East, who knew the sky so well that they saw and identified a new star rising that announced the birth of the King of the Jews. They began a long trip to find Him and worship Him. (Jesus was now somewhere between one and two years old. Matt. 2:16-18)

I wonder that they obeyed the message in their dream to go home a different way and not return to King Herod. Read on in your Bible about what Herod did right away in Bethlehem.

I wonder if God provided the money and provisions from the gifts of the scholars from the East, needed to escape King Herod’s wrath by traveling to Egypt until Herod died.

I wonder in amazement at our God, who had every detail of His Son’s birth and life for the next 33 years all planned, including His sacrificial death on the cross for all our sins.


Wise Men still follow Him today.

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