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JOY: Daily Reading Plan #5

Reading Plan Day 5
Matthew 2:10-12

"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. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. "

Matthew 2:1–12 describes the arrival in Jerusalem of a group of wise men, sometime after Jesus' birth. They are responding to the sight of a ''star'' in the night sky, leading them to conclude the ''king of the Jews'' had been born. King Herod is troubled by this news and sends them to Bethlehem. His deceitful orders are for the wise men to return and tell him where the child is. The travelling scholars are overjoyed to find the Christ, at last. They worship Him by bowing and presenting expensive gifts. Warned not to return to Herod, after all, they slip away by another route.

Matthew stops to describe the emotional state of these wise men from the east who have travelled to find the newly born "King of the Jews." Based on a study of prophetic Jewish Scriptures and especially the appearance of a strange star in the night sky, they became convinced that the ancient promise of a savior for Israel had been fulfilled. They did not find the child in Jerusalem, but they did get a new lead: Herod the Great himself had checked with Israel's prophecy experts and sent the wise men on to Bethlehem. Now, though, that lead had been confirmed by the reappearance of the star they had been tracking all along. It, too, pointed to Bethlehem and, in one way or another, to the very house in which the child could be found (Matthew 2:1–9).

Why were these foreign, Gentile men with a keen interest in astronomy and astrology so excited about this? For one, it proved their quest was valid. They had been right and had not wasted their time in setting out to find this child. On another level, however, these men seemed also to believe in the Jewish Scriptures and that this child would save Israel. They rejoiced at the prospect of seeing Him in person, even as a child.

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