Wise Men (And Women) Worship

Holtonumc   -  

Matthew 2:1-12

The account of the wise men’s journey is both unusual and fascinating. What led the pagan Gentile magi from the East to journey hundreds of miles to worship the King of the Jews? What led Matthew to include them in his gospel which focuses more on the Hebrew implications of Jesus (we would expect to see this in Luke’s gospel as he was a Gentile demonstrating that Jesus was and is the Savior of all persons)? And what was the star they followed?

There are many unexplainable things in this story, but in the arrival of the magi we see that Jesus is not just a Jewish king, he is the King of kings. God somehow communicated through the star to these men the importance of who Jesus was, that he was worthy of traveling a very long distance to greet. And when they arrived their immediate joyful response was to bow down and worship him. The word for “worship” also means ”to bow down,” ”to kiss” (as in honor and respect). They venerated Jesus as their Lord, their King, even though they were not Jewish. As part of their worship they also offered him valuable gifts of gold, frankincense, and myhrr. Gold was a gift worthy of a king. Frankincense was a fragrance burned by priests in the Temple as an offering to God, the gift for a priest. Myrrh was a fragrant spice for annointing dead bodies when they were buried, a gift for a dead man. These gifts demonstrated not only who Jesus was as King, Priest, and Savior, but they were costly objects of worship.

Worship is our response to Jesus as the King of kings and Lord of lords, but what does worship cost us? I don’t necessarily mean financially, although that should be part of it, but what do we sacrifice and give to Jesus? In Romans 12:1 the Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Our proper response of worship in light of God’s mercy and grace through Jesus is to offer ALL of ourselves to Jesus. Not just part of our time, or part of our week, or part of our stuff, or part of our family, but all of us. We tend to think of worship as something we do for one hour a week with other Christians, but worship is much more than that, our worship is continuous, it is meant to happen at every moment throughout the day, because we are not our own, we are God’s. We offer ourselves to God for his use over and over again, at home, at work, at church, everywhere, all the time. What is your costly sacrifice of worship to Jesus for who he is and for what he has done for you in showing mercy by sacrificing his very life for your salvation?