Remarkable Child – Remarkable Contrasts
As the kingdom of Christ began to dawn, in telling of the account of the Magi, Matthew portrays several remarkable contrasting responses to the Christ. Over 2000 years later these contrasting responses remain contemporary.
1. Caustic search – Costly search
“At this meeting [Herod] learned the exact time when [the magi] first saw the star. Then he told them, ‘Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child.’”
“Herod was furious when he learned that the wisemen had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under.”
Herod had a history of removing those he deemed as a threat. Pride caused Herod to circle the wagons to maintain his position.
The magi gave a 1 ½ to 2 years of their life to this search.
2. Came to the ‘religious’ – Embraced by the‘pagan’
“Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea… About this time some wisemen from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem asking. “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.”
Placed him in the midst of God’s people, the Jewish nation.
The magi were probably Persian or Near Eastern astrologers.
3. Apathy of the many – Awe of the few
“Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, as was all of Jerusalem.”
“After this interview the wisemen went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him.”
The star pointing the way for the magi would have been visible to everyone, but few responded.
The star led the magi to a place of worship. Humility led the magi to honor a toddler as their king.