1 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.”
Matthew 2:1-2 (New International Version)
The King Has Come
Jesus was the King that God had promised to the children of Israel. Even so, as we read in the second chapter of Matthew, the first people that came to see the King of Kings were foreigners; Magi from the East. You would think that the Jews, hearing this good news, would follow the Magi’s lead and go to Bethlehem.
However, this was not the case. When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. (Verse 3) Why would the people of Israel be disturbed over the news of the coming Lord of Lords. Were they not waiting for His coming? Of course the answer is yes, but why did they not go to see Him?
Not Believing the Messengers
I suspect that the reason that they were so bothered by the Magi’s message was because of the messengers themselves. They probably thought, “These men are Gentiles and do not know our ways. Who are they to say that our Messiah has come?” They may have also thought, “If the Promised One has come, why didn’t God tell us Himself?”
Beware of Pride
One’s position with God can cause one to fall prey to pride and arrogance. The Israelites were God’s special people. They were given this position for a specific purpose: To tell others about the glory of God.
Not Earned but Given
However, instead of using their position for the glory of the Lord, they flaunted their position like one who waves a trophy as if they earned it. This “trophy” which they show off for all to see was never earned. Israel became God’s people, not because they earned it, but because they found favor in the Lord’s sight.
Grace Produces Openness
This favor which Israel received, should have compelled them to be more appreciative and do what God told them to do in the first place. It would have also opened their eyes to see the signs of the coming Messiah when He did come. They would have believed the words of the Magi and would have come to Bethlehem to worship Him.
A Trap for Christians
This trap of false pride which the Jews fell into can also affect Christians. Like the Jews, we who have placed our faith in Christ were saved from our sin and given the name “children of God.” This new title was not given to us because we gave any special effort. On the contrary, it was out of the love and grace of the Lord, that we have been adopted into His family.
A Heart of Gratitude
With that in mind, we should not have a heart of pride, but a heart of gratitude. A grateful heart is more open to the ways of God than an arrogant one. It recognizes that the Almighty can use anyone or anything to make His message known to us.
Openness and Discernment
Therefore, let’s pray that the Almighty will open our hearts to all the ways He may speak to us. However, we must also remember that not all the messages we hear necessarily come from God, for they might be false instructions designed to lead us astray. With that in mind, let’s also ask from the Almighty discernment in order to determine the truths from the falsehoods.