December 23: Chosen to Investigate

Dec 23

December 23: Chosen to Investigate

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”

King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,

for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Matthew 2:1-6

 

Who were these wise men or magi from the east? Today we would call them scientists. They were astronomers, mathematicians, historians, and perhaps some degree of astrologers or future-tellers. That is, they used all the scientific means available to them to read the signs so they could predict future events such as the rise and fall of kingdoms or the trends in nature (think Farmer’s Almanac) such as predicting a drought.

When the wise men saw a new, unusually bright star appear in the sky, they knew it meant something. They wanted to find out what it meant. They put their investigative skills to work. They probably searched documents for references to such an event, but academic inquiry wasn’t enough. They had to find out for themselves so they set out on a journey that may have been two years long. They followed the star all the way to Bethlehem.

Somehow they had ascertained enough information and insight to know the star (a star probably indicated a king) represented a newborn (possibly because it was a new star that appeared) king of the Jews. That one they must have ascertained by the fact that the star hung over Israel. They came to Jerusalem asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his rising star and came to worship him.”

King Herod feared losing power to a new rising star who might take his throne. Herod summoned the priests and scholars to find out more. This Roman leader had heard the Jews talk about a long awaited Messiah so he asked the Jewish leaders, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

“In Bethlehem,” was their answer.

Both King Herod and the wise men were inquiring for answers. They wanted to find out more about this new king. Like them, we can spend our lives finding out more about Jesus, but our quest is not for more information, but more relational knowing. We aren’t limited to knowing the facts in the Bible. We have the privilege of knowing the King of Kings in a personal way. We experience Him firsthand as we commune with Him and allow Him to live through our lives.

God may choose you to investigate details. If God gave you a personality that enjoys science and facts, then use your left-brain strengths for God’s glory. But God may have given you a personality that is more artistic, freestyle, and fun. In that case, use your right-brain strengths for God’s glory. God made you uniquely qualified to do what He has chosen you to do. He will lead you. You may not have a clear star to follow, but He will lead you to where you need to be to fulfill your role in His story.

 

Prayer

Thank you for leading and guiding me, Lord. Help me identify the ways you lead me each day. Tune my heart to the nudges of Your Spirit. Let me not be afraid to ask questions and seek answers, but also let me rest in faith in Your nature. I know You will never lead me astray.

 

 

 

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