Matthew 2:1-12 God speaks not to the religious, but to the pure and humble
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. 5 They 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.
The Christ Child by now should have been two years old. The birth of Christ the Savior was known even to the wise men of Gentile nations. These wise men travelled a long way to seek out the Child Christ and to worship Him as King. But His own people, the Jews were evil; they knew nothing about Christ’s whereabouts and plotted with Herod to kill the Child Jesus. In this episode, we observe that God speaks to those who are pure and humble regardless of their religious heritage.
Behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem – These wise men from the East probably refer to a learned and priestly class of people from ancient Persia. They were skilled in sciences, philosophy and spiritual incantations. They would have travelled over 900 miles, which took them months to arrive at Jerusalem. These men are not Jews, but God had revealed to them the exact time through their arts and sciences the birth of the Christ Child.
Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him – King Herod had a profound fear of being attacked, and the prophecy of a coming King of Israel exacerbated his fear. We observe from Israel’s history that pagan arts and sorcery was able to detect the emergence of great men who would deliver God’s people. In the days of Moses, the Pharaoh ordered the massacre of Jewish children all over Egypt for fear of the rise of a Jewish deliverer.
And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him – The wise men from the East even as they were not of Jewish descent humbled themselves before this Jewish Child and worshiped Him. These are not common people, but leading men, and well respected in their country of origin. They worshiped this seemingly ordinary Child not because of His kingly appearance but because they believed the word of faith as spoken by God. On their return, they were warned in a dream not to go to Herod. Being God-fearing men, they departed to their own country by a different route.
God knows how to connect with those who are humble and who revere Him regardless of their religious heritage. God spoke to the wise men of the East concerning the birth of a heavenly King and led them to Christ through a star; they travelled nine hundred miles with a great entourage of guards and gifts in order to worship Jesus. But the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, a mere six miles away from Bethlehem have no clue where Jesus is. And these Jewish leaders did not appear to resist Herod’s attempt to kill the Child. As in the case of the wise men, God communicates with those who are pure and humble even though they may not be well acquainted with the bible and with the things of God. Believers must not just gather knowledge, but seek to purify their hearts with the truth of the word and the Spirit. Knowledge, depending on the hearer, either puffs up or builds up. Humble people have an uncanny way of discerning God’s voice and truth. It is a mistake to think that God speaks only through the church or the bible. Many may not come across as cultured, but their humility, purity and loyalty are ready channels through which God will communicate with them.
Do you consider yourself as approachable to others and receptive to their views? Those who are humble and who receive feedbacks even though they may not be pleasant will also hear God’s voice and commune with Him.
Dear Lord, as I humble myself and purify my heart before you, speak to me concerning your future plans for me. Reveal to me my weaknesses and enable me to overcome them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.