ripple effect: vacaville

d163 Jacking Up Your Nativity
October 1, 2007, 2:30 pm
Filed under: god, herod, jesus, joseph, mary, matthew, micah

Read Matthew 2:1-12.

1. Wise men, seemingly out of nowhere, come to see Jesus. I think it’s awesomely symbolic. The shepherds learn about Jesus from God directly, an awesome act of grace. Simeon and Anna were as ready as ready could be, and they saw Him too. These guys. Well, how did they discover that Jesus was born?
2. Astrology. Wow. Yeah…these guys looked at the stars to try to derive meaning from life. That was the best they could come up with. And, in their studies of charts and the sky, they noticed a star. They referred to it as “his star.” These guys weren’t meaning to find the Savior of the Jewish nation. Shoot, they weren’t from the Jewish nation. They were from the east! They found God…randomly?
3. What I love, though, is that they might not have all the details of Levitical Law worked out; but they came to WORSHIP Jesus. Awesome…
4. Imagine Herod at this point. Oh, this is a detail that he has seemed to overlook. His reaction reveals that it is news to him. He should have been ready. He should have been expecting. Instead, some strange foreign guys realized the truth before he did.
5. Here’s what’s funny: you know Herod wants to “get rid of” this potential rival to his throne, so he asks where the Christ is supposed to be born. He’s a Hebrew. Shouldn’t he know that?
6. **edit** Ah…so…the chief priests and scribes know the story. They know where to look for this Messiah from the prophet Micah, but they couldn’t figure it out like the wise guys could. Amazing. Do you think they didn’t act on this knowledge because they didn’t believe that the Messiah was actually going to arrive? **edit**
7. Herod gets sneaky and tries to calculate how old Jesus must be at this point (yes…devestatingly…I hope you can handle this…the wise men didn’t visit Jesus as a baby in the manger…this is more like a year after all of that…don’t waste your nativity money on the “three wise men”–they weren’t there).
8. Herod is lying. It would seem obvious to me that they were following a star.
9. These guys didn’t hesitate. They got down and worshiped Jesus. Can you imagine what Mary must have been thinking? a) who are these guys? b) it is so weird to see people bowing to my kid and c) seriously, who are these guys?
10. We are simple people. We assume that since there were three gifts, there must have been three men. Not in my life. I usually go in on bigger gifts. There’s nothing to say that these guys were particularly rich. Would it bother you if there were ten wise men who all “went in” on getting the gifts?
11. Gold…a gift fit for a king.
12. Frankincense…a gift fit for a priest.
13. Myrrh…a gift fit for a a healer.
14. You’ve got to love those dreams that warn you about bad people. I wish I could have more of those.