Wednesday, January 5, 2011

This week's meditation: The Challenge of the Magi

Matthew 2:1-12
The Magi were seekers of Truth, Gentiles, foreigners. None of God's people were seeking as diligently. The Magi said they had seen “His” star and knew he was coming. The star was in the backyard of the greatest Hebrew scholars, and they did not even know it. The Magi were not Jewish, but they were open to finding truth in the God of the Hebrews. The scholars and Priests thought they had it all figured out, and were no longer seeking.

The Magi came a great distance to seek the new king. No scholar in Israel even traveled from Jerusalem. The Magi came in a caravan from somewhere near Iraq. They spent time getting everything together and making the journey. By the time they arrived, Jesus was no longer a baby, but a child. When the Magi came asking about this new king, the scholars all looked to see where the messiah was to be born. They found the answer and passed on the information, but did not take it to heart. Bethlehem is only about 6 miles from Jerusalem. The Magi went, the scholars stayed in Jerusalem.

The Magi went out of their way to protect Jesus. No one challenged Herod’s scheme to kill the newborn king. When warned in a dream, the Magi went home a different way, probably far out of their way, in order to avoid returning to Herod and giving information about Jesus. The scholars, priests, and any others who had searched to find out about the coming messiah, said and did nothing when Herod ordered the murder of children in Bethlehem.

Our Challenge: Are we seeking God’s Truth, or are we content in our own human understanding? Are we willing to follow in obedience when God calls us to step out in faith? Will we inconvenience ourselves, even to great extent in order to be obedient when God calls?

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