Wise Men Bow Down

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2 ESV)

Am I Like the Wise Men?

The wise men put to shame the Jewish Scribes and the King of Israel. How? They aren’t supposed to be here in the first place. They are Gentiles. They are the people group that destroyed the temple and kidnapped the nation’s leaders and wealth. They are pagan idol worshipers by birth, not good Jewish boys. They practice astrology, which is condemned in the Old Testament.

But who did Jesus come to save? Who flocks to him while the religious types resent him? It’s the prostitutes and the tax collectors and the Gentiles, and yes, the astrologers. The Gentile astrologers bowing before Jesus were a microcosm of all that Jesus’ story would unveil. From the beginning of Jesus’ story, even as a kid, it was the marginalized and the unexpected who flocked to him. It’s the very questionable types who have the insight to ask, Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?…. We…have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2)

And God arranges the heavens and sends comets to make sure people like the magi have the incredible privilege to bow at Jesus’ feet.

So what about us? God doesn’t use stars to tell of Jesus’ birth. Now he uses Scripture and Christians and churches and he has you reading this today. What’s keeping you from bowing before Jesus as Savior and Lord? Pride, like Herod? Too invested in your own agenda and greatness? Any stars announce your birth? Any angels singing? Are you religious like the scribes but not interested enough to walk down the hill, to adjust your life around a Savior born?

In this story, we might be Herod, and we might be scribes, but by personal faith in Jesus, we can become the wise men and reenact their faith journey that brought them in worship to the miraculous person of Jesus. They didn’t know about his death on the cross or his resurrection. They simply knew him to be the one born king of the Jews. Wise men bow down.

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

©2016 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.

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