Tuesday 24 December, 2013

Matthew 2:1-11

2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 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.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 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. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘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.’” 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

I am struck by the way God orchestrates these events to not only protect Jesus, but fulfill his good plan. Jesus, a young child, and his parents, have no way of knowing this plot from Herod who was really wanting to kill Jesus. They had no way of defending or protecting themselves. They were completely vulnerable to the plot of Herod and the Jewish leaders.

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Yet God was their protector. He warned the Magi in a dream not to go back to Herod, and they obeyed the dream rather than Herod. And so Jesus and his family remained undetected. Who knows the religious views and background of these Magi. But God spoke to them in a way they understood, and they heeded his warning.

This passage reminds me of God’s goodness towards His people, and me in particular, because of His good plan and purpose for us. Romans 8:28 comes to mind. It also reminds me that God has got the big picture under control, is moving events and people into position to fulfill his good purpose (even when opposing, destructive purposes are afoot), and is orchestrating all sorts of events and people to fulfill his Gospel purpose on the earth!

Thanks God for bringing me under your good purpose, which also means your care and protection. I couldn’t be in a safer place.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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