December 22

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)

Today’s passage mentions two kings. The first was King Herod, or Herod the Great, a notoriously vicious and cruel man, of whom it was said, “It’s better to be Herod’s pig than Herod’s son.” The second was Jesus, King of the Jews. Biblical scholars have noted that “King of the Jews” is a significant title because, while many looked down on the Jews as an unimpressive people, the Lord Viewed the Jewish people as a chosen people.

The wise men or magi searched for Jesus in Jerusalem. Understandably, they expected the King of the Jews to be born somewhere important. Instead of finding Jesus, the King of the Jews, they found King Herod in his opulent palace. But Herod was not the king they had traveled to worship. The King they sought had been born in the small, sleepy town of Bethlehem. The reformer, Martin Luther, noted that Jesus had not performed any miracles or preached a single sermon at this point—He was only a baby, after all—and yet He was already making waves in the world, drawing people in with His light and attracting the worship He alone is worthy of.

Jesus came to earth in the way people least expected—born in a manger, rather than a palace. The wise men learned this firsthand when they went looking for Jesus in Jerusalem. Jesus’ humble birth was indicative of His ministry. He did not teach from the comforts of a palace; instead, He walked among His people as a servant and personally brought the light of salvation to the world.

  1. How might you follow the example of Jesus and surprise people with your service this week?
  2. In what ways can you act as a guiding light in the lives of others, showing them the way to Jesus?


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