Jesus’ birth: Born with honor and royalty
Read: Matthew 2:1-12
“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2
When we think of Jesus’ birth, we often think of His humility—giving up His royalty and glory in order to take on a human life, being born in a barn, and coming to live in a regular family. But from His birth some people recognized His power and greatness.
The wise men from the east acknowledge Jesus as the King of the Jews immediately and know that this is no merely earthly King. They believe He is worthy of worship—that He is God. Herod, the priests, and the scribes, hearing this, know exactly who the wise men are talking about, the Messiah promised by the Old Testament prophets to be the Savior of the Jews. They can tell the wise men that He will be the ruler of the people and their shepherd. A shepherd, as they would have known, was a guide and protector. Their greatest king, David, had been a shepherd, too, and compared God Himself to a shepherd in Psalm 23. The priests and scribes direct the wise men to Bethlehem: a small, rural town, but still a royal city, the birthplace of David.
Despite Jesus’ humble family, He was still part of the royal line, and Herod and the wise men at least knew it. Herod acknowledges it by seeking to have Him killed to protect his own political power. The wise men acknowledge it by bringing Jesus valuable gifts.
Even though Jesus is not yet known as the Son of God to most people (only His parents have been told that), He was born with honor and royalty.
Questions for discussion and reflection
● Do you think of Jesus with honor and reverence?
● How do you show respect to Jesus?
Dear God, just as the wise men honored and worshiped You, help us honor and worship You through our words and actions. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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