Bible Society of South Africa

Visitors from the East – 6 December 2022

By Carina Francke

Bible text(s)

2and asked, “Where is the baby born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him.”

Matthew 2:2GNBOpen in Bible reader

Three wise men from the East arrive in Jerusalem and enquire about the king of the Jews that was born. They saw his star when it rose, followed it and came to worship him. Can you imagine how upset King Herod must have been when hearing the news of a “new king”? He is the current king of Israel! Using sly strategy, he learned from all the chief priests and scribes of the people that Christ’s birthplace will be Bethlehem in Judea and that He will be the Shepherd of God’s people Israel. (Matthew 2:6)

This news triggers the envy fuse of King Herod’s royal apparel. Under the cover-up that he too wants to honour and worship the new king, he secretly fishes out from the wise men when the star appeared. Then Herod sent them on their way to Bethlehem with the instruction that they must let him know when they find the baby Jesus.

God, however, who knows the motives and heart of man, puts a stopper on this blatant lie. Almost immediately after their departure, “the star they had seen when it rose, went before them until it came to rest over the place where the Child was” (Matthew 2:9-10). In the house, they find the child with Mary. They fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. This made me wonder: how often do you and I, as believers, kneel in reverence before our heavenly Father? Can we honestly confess that our hearts and hands are open to give lavishly to others? Needless to say, the Magi did not return to inform Herod where he could find the child – God himself warned them not to return to Herod. They returned to their country via another route.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the assurance of your protection in my life, when I follow the road you indicate. Thank you for your involvement in my every decision. Give ears to my heart and spirit, thus enabling me to walk, joyfully, “another route” to my destination. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.8
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