KING OF KINGS
Read: Matthew 2:1-6, Micah 5:2-4
“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 was 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.”” (NIV Matthew 2:1-6)
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.” (NIV Micah 5:2-4)
Study: “Christ” was a title, not a personal name. The Greek word “christos” meant “anointed one,” the same meaning as the Hebrew word “mashiach,” or “Messiah.” Matthew said Jesus is called “the Christ”—that is, the anointed king. Israel loved the hope of God sending a ruler born in Bethlehem. The “chief priests and legal experts” knew Micah 5 when King Herod asked them. But it was the foreign Magi who spoke of the infant as Israel’s ultimate king. Matthew used the Greek word “magoi” (English “magi”) to describe the visitors from the East. Picture the scene: these wise men, often honored and respected themselves, honored the young child Jesus and named him “king.” What did this say about their hopes for who Jesus was and would become? What do you hope Jesus, the king, will do in your life?
Prayer: King Jesus, amid all of the holiday hoopla, help me to find a place of inner stillness and peace. And in that space, help me, like the wise men of old, to name you king, and to commit myself anew to serve you. Amen