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Watching or Taken by Surprise

Watching or Taken by Surprise?

Matthew 2:1-2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived unexpectedly in Jerusalem, saying, “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.”

The wise men clearly understood the significance of the star and probably saw it rising during the pregnancy. They were fully aware that a new, special, and significant king had been born, and they had come to worship Him. They went to the most logical place to try to find Him, thinking the king of Israel would be aware of such a significant birth. Their visit, however, caught Herod by surprise and was the first alert that a threat to his cherished throne was born. If what the wise men said were true, Herod would not be the immortal king he’d hoped to be, and a new king would take his place.

Israel had been promised a Messiah and should have been looking for Him. Granted, it had been a long time since prophets had spoken in the land, and they were under political oppression. God’s promise through the prophets still stood, however, and Jesus fulfilled every word foretold of Him. When it has been a long time since we’ve heard from God on a matter, do we still believe Him for His promises, or do we lose hope and fail to see God at work in our lives? Are we like Herod and taken by surprise or maybe even threatened when God moves?

Herod didn’t want a Savior; he wanted the glory and the immortality of the promised King. By desiring a glory that was never his to take, he tried to destroy the hope of Israel and the hope of the world. Christ’s glory would come through His sacrifice – a price Herod could never or would never pay.

Realize that every act of glory and honor comes with a sacrifice. No one takes it by force or with ease. To receive a reward of immortality, you must die at some point. Christ died for us so we might share in His inheritance, but we must die to ourselves in order to receive it. If only Herod had understood his reign on earth would be so short, perhaps, he would have considered life in eternity. We should all consider such a thought and realize that there is only One true King, and His name is Jesus. We should follow the example of the wise men and be intent upon finding Him so we can worship Him, too!

Have a blessed day!

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