And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel. Matthew 2:6 NABRE
This second chapter of Matthew’s gospel introduces two contrasting views to the coming of the Messiah. Gentile magi seek the newborn king of the Jews doing Him homage and Herod and his court seek the child to destroy Him. At the beginning of Jesus’ life there is this threat from a dictator; He barely escapes a massacre and is forced into exile, unable to return home. This hostility Christ faces as a new born sets us up to recognize the opposition Jesus will face at the culmination of His public ministry. Bethlehem is the city of King David, it is where David was born and thus the new king, descendant from the line of David, is expected from Bethlehem as well. When Herod asks the chief priests and scribes about the king they tell him about the prophecy in the quoted verse including He is meant to lead the Jews, He will shepherd the people of Israel. Recognizing this as a threat Herod sets on a plan to destroy the new King. He tries to enlist the magi by asking about the appearance of the star and having them return to him and let him know where this new king lay. The magi however bringing gifts, honor the king, prostrating themselves in His presence. Being warned in a dream not to return to Herod they returned to their country a different way.
We see in the magi a remarkable faith, recognizing an ordinary child as much more. Meanwhile the Jewish leaders who are waiting for a new king provide as much information to Herod as they can to have the king destroyed, their faith is non-existent.
Who are you in the story, a Christ believer or denier? How far would you go to pay homage to the Messiah?The magi have a remarkable faith, recognizing an ordinary child as much more. Meanwhile the Jewish leaders who are waiting for a new king provide as much information to Herod as they can to have the king destroyed, their faith is non-existent. Click To Tweet
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