Day Thirty-Three: Seeking the King

January 2, 2020
By Hugh Nowell


By Hugh Nowell

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Matthew 2:1-6 (NIV)

Legends abound about visitors from the East who came after the birth of our Lord to worship and bring gifts fit for a king. There are far too many, and much research is required to elaborate and learn more about these Magi, also referred to in some Bible translations as kings or wise men. Even if one were to spend the time and energy to pursue such an effort one would find too numerous and complex the morass of scholarly guesswork. However, as followers of Christ, the Holy Spirit has provided us all we need to know about the blessed Christmas story in the inspired (God-breathed) Gospels.

In Matthew’s gospel, it is made clear that the Magi followed a bright star, which guided them to Jerusalem where they sought the King of Kings, by saying, “Where is He who has been born the King of the Jews. We have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” v. 2. We aren’t told why the Magi followed the star, but because the Holy Spirit included it in scripture, we can know that is part of our Sovereign God’s marvelous plan of redemption showing that this King born in Bethlehem was to be a savior for all the world. In contrast we see an evil Jewish puppet king under Rome whose plan was to cut off his own people’s Messiah. Truly, “Jesus came unto His own, and His own received him not.” (John 1:11, paraphrased).

As a child, I was awed by everything about Christmas. It was magical to me and I found great peace and joy in the wonderful activities, mostly family visits to and from relatives, holiday celebrations — Christmas was pure childhood fantasy and joy to me. When I was no longer a child, came to understand God’s grace and became a reborn child of God, Christmas took on a new magic and reality greater by far than anything I had ever known. This joyous season when we all, as members of the body of Christ, worship the one born King of the Jews.

Someone once expressed it like this: “For if we fail to praise His name, the rocks and stones will shout ‘come let us adore!’”

Wise men and women still seek this King of Kings. The wise still seek the Lord. May we all honor Him this season with our worship, praise, and adoration through the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we begin this New Year!