By Brooke Holt
“Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 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.’ 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. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 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. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.” – Matthew 2:7-12
After traveling around 800 miles by foot, the wise men are now in Bethlehem eager to behold the baby born king of the Jews. Faithfully the star led them to this small town, the town that God foretold of the Messiah being born. After making an inquiry stop at the palace of King Herod, these men have pushed on to a small house, a quite ordinary house. From the luxuries and earthly glory of King Herod’s home to a simple dwelling place that housed the true king—the baby born king of the Jews.
That star had led them and invoked great joy and expectation in their hearts. As they followed, the text tells us that they “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” And now, walking into the house, they found the baby, and that joy increased so much so that they “fell down” and worshiped. Pause here for a moment and imagine this scene. As soon as they beheld the baby Jesus, the fell and worshiped. Babies invoke awe, tears, joy but never has one heard of a baby that invoked worship outside of this narrative. These men had eyes to see their Savior, eyes that beheld true majesty even if that majesty was hidden in flesh and a simple home.
There was the glory of King Herod’s palace and earthly kingdom, then there was the glory wrapped up in the baby Jesus. Only one glory was said to cause the wise men to fall down and worship and that was wrapped in the baby Jesus. And not only did they worship Jesus, but their worship was followed by laying down their earthly treasures before him. The gift of worship was followed by the gift of their treasures. Worship always calls for sacrifice.
You are still called to worship this baby born the king of the Jews, and your worship is to be followed with your own gifts. Do you follow the example of these wise men? Do you bring the best of yourself to worship, and then do you offer your earthly treasures to him? Throughout this Christmas season, you are invited to have your heart captivated once again by the coming of your Messiah. He came to bring light into the world of his day and that light still shines into the darkness today. May we have eyes to behold his glory, to recognize the counterfeit glory of earthly kingdoms and earthly rulers, and may we bring our very best to worship our king and to offer our lives before him.
How does the Lord want to transform your worship this Christmas season? How does the Lord want to then transform your heart of giving and sacrifice before him this Christmas season? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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