Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
Our passage for Advent brings us an interesting revelation about our Lord’s hand in the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. To the Jews, He proclaimed the birth with a herald of Angels and a heavenly chorus, but to the Gentiles, their leading was a sign. The star in the east that stirred the hearts of these Gentile leaders, astrologers and wise men, it brought them on a long journey to find the one who had been foretold to them who would be the “King of the Jews”. We do not see this phrase used of Jesus until His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (fulfilling Zec 9:9-10) and at the time of His crucifixion when Pilate had this name put above Him on the cross.
We do not know exactly how old Jesus was at the point the wise men arrived, but it must have been after His presentation at the Temple in Jerusalem where Simeon and Anna made astounding proclamations about Him. Joseph took the family immediately to Egypt after the magi came to worship him and left. (Some have suggested it could have been longer based on Herod’s act to murder boys in Bethlehem, two and under.)
This revelation to Herod and then to the chief priest and scribes stirred up resentment in Herod. We are not told about the reaction of the Jews, but they should have been searching further in the Scriptures for this “King of the Jews” and what had been foretold. There are literally dozens of Old Testament prophesies regarding the coming of a “King” to the Jewish people. (E.g. Psalm 2:6, Isa 9:6, Jer 23:5, 33:17, Ezek 37:24) We know they would reject His coming.
The first few chapters of Matthew and Luke give us very interesting timelines and insight into the activities of the times in and around Jerusalem. Prophecy was being unfolded before their eyes and hearts were being stirred with these new revelations. As the life of Jesus would unfold and then His ministry begin, we get continuing insight into this Sovereign King. But we first get a look at Jesus as Savior. Now is our time to look to our Savior King, King of King and Lord of Lords for our hope and our future. To God be the praise and the glory. Amen.
Submitted by Ollie Thomas, Parkway Member