Wise Men (and Women) Still Worship

wise men 1

This Christmas I’ve been reflecting on Matthew’s account of the Magi who came to worship the infant Christ.  Worship was the sole purpose of their long journey:  “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?  For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2).

The Magi have much to teach us about worshiping Christ at Christmas (and all year long).  Here are three lessons I take away from their story.

Worship Bothers

“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled. . . .” (2:3).

It’s not surprising Herod was troubled when he heard the Magi had come to worship the newborn “king of the Jews” (2:2)  Herod immediately saw Jesus as a threat.   After all, Herod currently held the position of king of the Jews and wasn’t looking to relinquish his throne.

Jesus still comes as a threat to all who would be their own kings and queens.  For that reason, we can expect some to be bothered by our worship of Christ.  Those who are unwilling to relinquish their little kingdoms don’t want to be reminded of a rival King.

Worship Bows

“And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him” (2:11).

The Greek word for worship (proskyneo) literally means to prostrate or bow down.  The Magi understood that bowing down expresses humility in the presence of greatness.

Worship still bows down before Jesus.  Sometimes this bowing down will involve physical kneeling.  Always it will involve a heart posture that bows to Christ’s authority and kingship.

Worship Brings

“Then, opening their treasure, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense, and myrrh” (2:11).

The Magi brought gifts that were precious to them and fitting for Jesus:  gold (for a king); frankincense (for deity) and myrrh (for his burial –see John 19:39).

Worship involves bringing gifts that matter to us and mirror our hearts.  Often at Christmas, I select a gift to bring to Jesus in the coming year.  It might be some special times in his presence or specific service in His name. What will you bring to the King this Christmas?

Several years ago I wrote this song that seeks to capture my desire to bring gifts of worship to the Lord Jesus.

 

Gifts for the King 

I’ve learned from the wise to bring gifts to you
and I’m told there are gifts you prefer
But I realize that my gifts are few
No gold, no incense, no myrrh.

So I will bring you my few golden dreams,
the incense of repentance; I will come clean.
And a heart filled with mercy, fragrant and sweet;
these are the gifts I will bring to the King.

These gifts I present, these gifts I impart,
may not seem like much, I agree.
But they represent and they mirror my heart,
and each one is costly to me.

So I will bring you my few golden dreams,
the incense of repentance; I will come clean.
And a heart filled with mercy, fragrant and sweet;
these are the gifts I will bring to the King.

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