Two Responses to Jesus’ Birth

“Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.” (Matthew 2: 7)

“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”  Matthew 2: 11)

Historically and currently there are two basic responses to the birth of Jesus.  The same message has been given both.

There was the response of Herod. Magi were heralds who brought news of  the birth of Jesus. Who were they? Magi are not called wise men in the Bible. The term “wise men” was first applied to the Magi by a man who was himself wise, the venerable Bede, an 8th-century British monk.

The Magi were not kings. Were they King Herod would have greeted them as were all heads of state with a royal banquet. Magi were king makers in their home land. They were astronomers who studied the stars.

Herod, who was called the king of the Jews, was on the throne, his paranoia was legendary. Herod had, at this point, killed several of his children, his in-laws, and others he felt were rivals. Herod’s plot was one of – – – ENVY AND EVIL.

Cunningly Herod devised a plot to find and obviously kill the young child. He told the Magi to find the child and come and tell him where he was. In keeping with his character and conduct he doubtlessly desired baby Jesus’ death. Failing to deceive the Magi to report to him, he later killed all the male children born in Bethlehem within the designated time frame.

News of His birth, as celebrated at Christmas, is still responded to with envy and evil by a large segment of our society. Concerted efforts are made to minimize and mock news of His birth and life. 

On a personal basis many still reject Him and refuse to pay Him homage at Christmas.

The response of the Magi was one of – – – – EUREKA AND EXALTATION 

Eureka, they found Him and exaltation, they fell down and worshiped Him. 

To find Jesus is to receptively know Him as He is, Savior and Lord.

To worship Him is to pay allegiance to Him, to submit to Him.

In the captivating trappings of Christmas today may He be found by those who have never established a life transforming relationship with Him. May those who have a saving relation with Him find Him more clearly than ever.