Come to Worship Him
“For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Matthew 2:2-3 (ESV)
It might sound crazy to leave your home in search of a king, but the wise men studied the stars and scriptures and then made a decision. They would travel a great distance to come and worship a newborn King. Their honesty is strikingly bold. First, they announced they are following a star as if that’s a normal thing. Second, they told King Herod they have come to worship this newborn King. While Herod wouldn’t expect the Magi to come and worship him, he would have greatly appreciated it. Many Greco-Roman officials practiced emperor worship, so worshiping a king would not be unusual. Herod, however, is a narcissistic, self-centered king who gets jealous and angry when others get attention. Notice how Matthew records that Herod was “troubled,” and furthermore “all of Jerusalem with him.” This statement suggests that these wise men were asking whomever they met in Jerusalem and that Herod reacted to the rumor of a new king, likely informing his political and military to be on high alert. In the residents of Jerusalem’s experience, Herod’s troubles translated to bloodshed. When Herod was angry, the people felt it. Perhaps Herod’s greatest trouble was knowing that his kingdom was about to unravel once and for all. He knew he was sitting, as one scholar once said, on a “political powder keg.” Any kind of power change could crush him. He was 70 years old, sick and tired, easily angered, but prepared to maintain his power at all costs. The wise men are undeterred. They have come to worship this new king—a child, not an old man. Their honesty with Herod reveals their passionate pursuit of Christ. Their motive is clear. They have come to worship.
The word worship is full of vivid expressions of one prostrating him/herself in front of a royal king, kissing his feet, in utter awe and amazement. It’s a picture of full submission to a high regal authority. This kind of worship is not for anyone else but God. Many scholars believe that the wise men would have read the sacred scriptures found in Numbers 24:17, which described a star and a king for the Jewish people.
This expression of worship does not give something to God from man, but rather acknowledges what God has already done for man, coming down as a man in order to be with His people. The wise men wanted Christ; they wanted to lay their eyes upon divinity, taking on human flesh. It would be a once in lifetime opportunity to see God’s son, Jesus, after his birth.
Today, friend, our Lord invites you to gaze upon him, to see the child as God’s gift to you. He is the peace and satisfaction your soul longs for. You will not find the rest you need until you come to Christ. Christ is born, on Christmas Day! He invites you to come worship him. Come with your friends and family! Come let us worship!
Apply: Christmas Eve services are at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Take the time to prepare your heart. Pray, read Scripture, and share with others. Today, take a few minutes to think about who needs to join you in coming to worship Jesus this Christmas Eve. Invite them today.
Pray: Lord, I come to worship you now. I lay my life down; you are my King. I love you. I offer my life to you; I offer my family to you, my finances, my troubles. All is yours. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for giving me your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.