Thursday, December 28, 2006

a king, magi & shepherds

Do you seek to worship Jesus?

Are you like King Herod who feared Jesus’ birth as a threat to his own kingship and authority?

Herod the Great was a notoriously cruel and paranoid ruler who murdered his mother-in-law, his wife and even his three sons. Most of us would not go so far as to attain that sense of control of life.

But many of us do feel “threatened” when Jesus asks us to enthrone him in the center of our lives. We may not voice it so blatantly, but we live so as to convey a life of half-hearted devotion, saying we will go so far and no farther with Christ.

The Magi spent all their lives in pursuit of knowledge and truth. They were skilled men of the East (Persia) who were renowned for their observation of the celestial events.

These men do bring their costly gifts to the King Jesus, but they start out in the wrong place – in Jerusalem.

We often seek God in all the wrong places. We are apt to presume God would work in certain ways, methods that make sense to us. It made sense for these Magi that King of kings would reside in the city of kings, Jerusalem.

A small passage tells us in Matthew 2:4-6, that Herod sought information regarding the birth of the Messiah from the chief priests and teachers of the law. How odd that there is no mention of these learned men of the Scriptures made no effort to determine where the child King would be born.

In pursuit of knowledge, they forgot the Source of all knowledge.

Finally, the shepherds - who were essentially the social outcasts of the day were in the fields watching over their flocks art night - were visited by a host of angels who announced the birth of Jesus. (Luke 2:8-20)

Nothing in the passage tells us of a moment’s doubt in the mind of these simple shepherds. They were not going to see the baby in the manger to verify the angels’ announcement: they were going there to worship.

Especially for one who brought up in a church background, familiarity with the lingo and exposure to various testimonies regarding encounters with God, it is easy to take on the attitude of “been-there-done-that.”

King Jesus was ushered into this world by a welcoming committee comprised of the lowliest and the most rejected group of people of His day.

But He was worshiped.

Do you seek to worship Jesus?

All that is required is the simplicity of the shepherds.

Not power and authority of Herod.

Not pursuit of intelligence like the magi.

Not learned scholarship like the teachers of the law.

But simplicity wrapped up in humility.

Because that is how the King of kings and Lord of lords came to earth.

--Nakwon EM December 24th Sunday Worship Service

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