day 23: child king

Psalm 72:10-15; Matthew 2:1-11

10 “May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! 11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! 12 For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. 13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. 14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight. 15 Long may he live; may gold of Sheba be given to him!  May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day!” – Psalm 72:10-15

1 “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, 2 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.’ 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

 6 “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

 7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.” – Matthew 2:1-12

***

why is this king worthy of worship? 

– He is a helper of the needy, He is compassionate (Psalm 72:12-13)

– He is a ruler with eternal origins, He is a ruler that will shepherd His people…He will care for them with the tenderness and thoughtfulness of a shepherd who lives with the sheep. (Micah 5:2, Ezekiel 34)

who actually worships Him?

not who you’d expect.

– the people of israel, the very insiders of the culture, knew about this king.  the “religious” people knew this…even pointing to the very prophetic scriptures that were theirs from God.  they even knew where the messiah was.  yet, what was their reaction?  they stayed right where they were.  they may have given lip service that they intend to worship (Matthew 2:8) but they did not go to worship Him.  in fact, they were “troubled” by Him.   the king, and later the religious rulers, were plotting to kill Him.  this child, this king of compassion, posed a huge threat.

– the wise men of the east, outsiders of the culture, learned about this king too.  not only were they foreigners…they were pagans…unfamiliar with the “right” religious practices.  they had to resort to astrology, which was forbidden in the scriptures, because they didn’t have the same access to the prophesies.  this king wasn’t even the king of the land they had come from.  yet, what was their reaction?  they gave true worship.  their worship was not just lip service.  it cost them a lot to make the long perilous journey…but they are the ones who “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” when they found Him.  they laid themselves on the ground in recognition of the greatness of this child.  in fact, they seemed to understand the significance of this child king better than His own people.  their gifts pointed out that He is a king (precious gold for royalty), He is a priest (frankincense used as incense in temple worship), and that He would sacrifice his life (myrrh used to embalm dead bodies).  (Matthew 2:11, more background into the significance of these three gifts)

so what is our response to this child king?  does His existence, His agenda (to help those in need), His reign threaten us?  would we rather have this season, our lives, be about what’s comfortable for us now?  or will we learn from the wise outsiders that sought Him out, and joyfully lay down our lives in worship?

thank you Lord that you reveal yourself to those who really seek.

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One thought on “day 23: child king”

  1. It’s striking to compare the Jewish scholars with the foreign wise men… I can’t help but feel a greater similarity to the scholars who know the facts yet do not worship in their hearts!

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