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King versus King

Matthew 2:1-2
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.'

Although some traditional pictures show Jesus surrounded by Magi (wise men who may have been 'king-makers'), Matthew tells us that their visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem was after Christ’s birth. By the time they arrived, Jesus was a 'young child' and not an infant; He was in a house and not a stable (Matthew 2:11), and after Herod asked about when the star appeared, he ordered the destruction of all the boys in Bethlehem under two years old (Matthew 2:16). So Jesus was not a new-born baby but was less than two years old.

We hardly know anything about these Magi, or how they came to know that the King of the Jews had been born; but we know they went straight to King Herod’s palace in Jerusalem. Perhaps they assumed that the child was his son. But the puppet-king installed by the Romans knew nothing about the birth. However, the remainder of the chapter shows Herod’s anxious and angry response. He did not want any rival king in his country, especially one which could claim to be from King David’s tribe of Judah. He did not want any king worshipped, except himself.

The Son of God is the Creator and Sustainer of this world (Colossians 1:15-17), and when He arrived on earth He showed He was its Ruler and King. So it is absolutely right to worship Him above all other people or things. But that is the challenge. To worship Jesus more than others is threatening to them and potentially dangerous for us; yet there is no other way. Jesus said, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.” (John 12:25-26) God will only honour those who serve King Jesus. Whoever is your greatest authority, put Jesus higher!

Prayer 
Sovereign Lord. Thank You for being the ultimate authority, everywhere. I am sorry when I have allowed other 'kings' to rule in my life so that I have failed to give Jesus Christ the top place in my obedience and worship. Please help me to realise that He must be Lord of every part of me, in every way and at every time – especially when I want to be my own King. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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