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.’” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 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.” Matthew 2:4-8
It seems so sad that ever since the birth of Jesus so many have known of Him, but rejected or opposed Him. Even at His birth we see those who came with a heart longing to worship (the Magi), those who were asleep and liked it that way (Jerusalem), and those who opposed Jesus and tried to destroy Him (Herod). It should have been the chief priest and the teachers of the law who noticed the coming of Israel’s King. Instead they were firmly asleep in the dark as men from the east came seeking the one born King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2).
What is interesting is that even in today’s focal Scripture we see a story that has been replayed throughout time. Men who knew of God, who could recite His promises and understood the Scripture. But ultimately, like so many today, they ignored or outright rejected God. As your heart turns towards Christmas morning this is a question you must answer: are you going to worship Jesus with your heart or just with your lips? Simply: do you really want to worship?
Imagine as the Magi saw the fulfillment of the promises they knew and the star of Jesus rise in the night sky. Imagine as they left their homes and families and set out for Israel. Imagine as they came to a people who were asleep longing to find the new King. Think about how full their hearts must have been as they found the child Jesus and worshiped Him. Ultimately the worship of the Magi is a worship that true worshipers will follow for all time: worship in word and deed.
Imagine as the Magi laid the gold, frankincense, and myrrh at the feet of the child. For a moment if you’re not careful you might be tempted to say: “I don’t have a gift fit for the King”. The gift God is looking for is… you. Question: when did Jesus become the King? Was it when these Magi brought all these incredible gifts and worshiped Him? Answer: Jesus has always been the King. As our hearts turn towards Bethlehem and that first Christmas morning we would do well to remember it isn’t about the gifts we bring the King, it is the gift the King has brought for us. In light of His gift… nothing less than everything we are and everything we have is what Jesus deserves.
As your heart and mind turns towards Christmas morning, remember Herod. He said he wanted to come worship Jesus too… but really in his heart he wanted to try to destroy God’s plan. As you meditate today I want to seriously ask you a question: do you get it yet? Do you really want to worship? If the answer is yes today, I pray you would fully surrender to the God who gave everything for you. Let His worship fill every part of your heart and life. Become that obnoxious Christian who is so in love with Jesus He is all you can talk about. In short… worship God with all your heart, not just your lips. (Isaiah 29:13)
Father, I thank You for every person who has read this devotion. I pray that this devotion has brought them closer to You. Lord Jesus I pray that our hearts would overflow with the love and mercy You show us. Help our lives to burn brightly for You Jesus. Let every day be Christmas and Easter for us as Your followers. Let our minds constantly meditate on Your coming, Your life, Your death, and Your resurrection. Jesus, thank you for Your love and our lives, in Your name we pray, amen.