Advent Study Day 15

Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 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.”

When King Herod heard this, he wad disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: ‘But you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifs of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Observation

  • God’s plan and guidance is really at work here. From the star guiding the Magi, to a dream warning them not to report back to Herod, everything is working together to make God’s ultimate plan come about.

Application

  • The sermon series at our church is (obviously) about the Christmas story — it’s called “Believe.” This week the focus was on dreams. Previously, we’ve heard about the star and the angel. This passage encompasses all of these things in terms of God’s direction. It was His plan to send Jesus to be born of a virgin. He orchestrated the whole thing — the star guided the Magi; dreams came to Joseph and the Magi, and angels were at work. All of these things worked together to speak to the people involved.
  • God has a plan for us; we just need to listen and obey.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for this time of year when all come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus. You have a grand vision and plan for the whole universe — and we get to be a part of it. Help me to hear you, and may I always obey your instruction. Let me focus not on presents or parties for Christmas, but instead on learning more about Jesus. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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