Grace Words

A Daily Bible Reader's Blog

Presented by Mike Tune, Pulpit Minister for the Church of Christ in Falls Church and Amazing Grace International

Sunday, December 2. Matthew 1 – 4

    The story of the Magi brings up lots of questions.

    Was this a new star?  How did they know to interpret it as the coming of a Jewish king?  Why would Babylonian astrologers even care about a Jewish king?  Why would they make a journey to worship him?

    On the other hand, Herod was surely interested in the new king, but had no clue about his coming.  The chief priests and teachers of the law knew of his coming, but were not expecting him – or just didn’t care.  Everyone, on hearing the news was “disturbed.”  Notice that no one is happy.  The coming of a new king upsets the current order of things.  Change is in the offing.  People don’t like change.

    Except for the Magi. 

    They seek to worship this new king, an odd sort of response for a king but perhaps their understanding is that he is really more than just a king.

    But there’s something else.

    Why didn’t this star lead the wise men to Bethlehem in the first place, rather than to Jerusalem?

    It would seem that the function of the star was to lead the wise men to scripture (thus the passage from Micah), then to confirm scripture.  I note that Herod has no interest in going to Bethlehem.  Neither do the chief priests and teachers of the law.  “Outsiders believe the word; insiders ignore it.”

    This leads us to two lessons I believe intended by Matthew: First, that the coming of Jesus is for the benefit of everyone.  Not everyone will follow Jesus, but Jesus came for their benefit anyway.  Second, those of us who know him best must not find ourselves among those who, by our behavior, are interested in him the least.