by Terry J. Hallock

Have We Come to Worship Him?
Terry J. Hallock
Matthew 2:1-2

Our Scripture text is two verses from the second chapter of Matthew which raise a crucial question for all of us gathered in this meeting house only two days after the celebration of Jesus' birth.

''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 in the east and have come to worship him.'''

They came to worship Jesus. Is that why we have come?

The magi came to worship Jesus because they had discovered who Jesus was. From biblical commentaries we know the Magi were priests and sages. They knew Jewish scripture and studied heavenly signs. For example, they knew Numbers 24:17, ''I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the sons of Sheth.'' And they knew Isaiah 60:3, ''Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.'' Thus they kept their eyes glued to the heavens and their hearts attuned to the Word so that when the star appeared they knew what it meant. They understood the truth to which it pointed, the Messiah it revealed, and they came to worship Him.

Do we understand who He is? Is that why we are here? Clearly King Herod didn't. If we were to read on in Matthew 2 we would see that the Magi came to him and asked if he knew where ''the king of the Jews was to be born'' and Herod had no idea. In fact, he had to turn to his scholars who reminded him of the prophecy of Micah 5:2. ''But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.''

The Magi went to the very heart of Israel - Jerusalem, the city of David - and asked Israel's king if he too had seen the star, read the prop ...

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