February 25, 2016
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.”
It’s interesting. Matthew presents Jesus’ first followers as pagan astrologers. Jesus was born some six miles away from Jerusalem and no one there seems to know anything about it. Most fascinating to me is the way God was leading these people via their own religion. The God of Israel and all the Earth did not speak by his word to these eastern kings, rather he spoke by his Creation, yet as we will see, the book of Creation would lead to the pages of his word.
The heavens declare the glory of God,” sings the Psalmist, “and the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19)
God revealed himself through their religion not in order to affirm their faith but to lead them to himself. What are the implications of this? Do all religions worship the same God? Certainly not, but the one and only true God can and does reveal himself through any and all religions at his pleasure—again, not to affirm another religion but to lead them to himself. Grace always begins where we are and with what we understand in order to reveal to us what we do not understand and take us where we have never been. Do all roads lead to Heaven? No, but the Lord of Heaven and Earth constantly leads whosoever will follow to the only road that leads to Heaven.
There is so much irony at work in today’s text. The kings came to the capital city of Jerusalem, the throne of King Herod, the ostensible king of the Jews, in search of the one “born king of the Jews.” Stay tuned as the plot will get even thicker than the irony tomorrow.
Before we end, we can’t pass up the the most beautiful aspect of today’s text. It’s those last seven words.
“We have come to worship him.”
Their religion had them worshipping the stars, until the stars pointed them to the only one in Heaven or Earth worthy of their worship. They had come to the God who made the stars. They came for no other purpose than to worship him. This is why we were made in the first place, to worship him. No matter where we find ourselves and no matter what we are doing with our lives and regardless of the circumstances, this one thing remains—we have come to worship him. It’s when we discover this great truth that our lives truly begin.
1. I wonder your reaction to this nuanced claim from today’s entry: “Do all religions worship the same God? Certainly not, but the one and only true God can and does reveal himself through any and all religions at his pleasure—again, not to affirm another religion but to lead them to himself.”
2. Does this give you hope for persons lost in false religions? How will this motivate your prayers? Your actions?
3. Can you interpret your life under this bold banner: We have come to worship him? Can you press your every day life and work into this calling? How?
Fast with us. Sign up here.
J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. email@example.com.