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Worth the Journey

Say hello to Jesus the toddler, probably a two-year-old. He had an exciting life, including His own fan club, the magi, also known as wise men. These intelligent men traveled a great distance to worship the child, Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, 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." (Matthew 2:1-2)

Wise Men Prepare

Why did the magi travel so far to worship Jesus? They learned about God's promise of sending His Son into the world by reading the writings of God's Old Testament messengers, the prophets. No doubt they studied the book of Isaiah and pondered the meaning of Isaiah 7:14: The virgin will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

In Matthew 1:23 we discover the meaning of "Immanuel": God with us. Imagine Jesus coming as a baby to dwell among sinful man as "God with us." Now imagine that you are one of the magi and that you have studied these scriptures about Immanuel. Can you further imagine that a star appears, and you know it's the one that will lead you to the baby born of a virgin? Now you are in the place of the magi; longing to worship Jesus so much that you will travel great distance and at great cost.

It took great effort for the magi to worship Jesus. A lot of preparation was required for the long journey and traveling through the desert was hard. Jesus is worthy of worship that costs something, whether it be our time, or energy, or our money. Too many times we want to worship Him only if it's convenient and easy. But Jesus deserves our best, which the magi willingly gave.

Are you plugged into worship? This Christmas week think about what keeps you from connecting with God. Do any changes need to be made?

Wise Men Worship

The magi continued their journey, following a bright star that led them to Jesus in Bethlehem.

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen

when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child

was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house,

they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped

him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold,

frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:9-11, emphasis added)

Did you catch that? The magi were "overjoyed" as they came to worship Jesus. I ask myself, "Am I overjoyed to worship Jesus?" Are you?

Just as the magi gave gifts as part of their worship, we can also give gifts to Jesus. Our gifts

might include our talent, our time or our material possessions. What gifts will you give Jesus this Christmas week? If you have not placed your faith in Him for salvation, it could start with giving yourself to Him through repentance and faith.

Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice . . . which is your spiritual service

of worship. (Romans 12:1, NASB)

This blog post is adapted from my book, Misfits on a Journey with Jesus: a 30-Day Exploration. Look for it in 2021.

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