Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
I. How THE MAGI SOUGHT AND FOUND THE LORD.
1. Who they were.
2. They sought with the utmost assiduity.
3. They were ultimately directed to Him by the written Word.
4. From first to last they were divinely guided.
II. THE FEELINGS WITH WHICH THE MAGI CONTEMPLATED HIM.
1. With exceeding great; joy.
2. With devout adoration.
3. They presented most costly offerings. Lessons:
(1) Except we thus seek and find the Saviour we perish.
(2) Do you know and feel that you have not sought Him?
(3) Are you greatly discouraged in seeking Him?
(F. Close, M. A.)This visit of the wise men shows us: —
I. How VARIOUSLY GOD SPEAKS TO us, — how many are the voices whereby He calls us, if we will, out of darkness, whether of mind or of heart, into His marvellous light. He uses a language to each, which each can understand. The Universal Father sooner or later has a word, a star, for all of us.
II. HOW TRUTH, IF IT IS TO BE GRASPED IN ITS FULNESS, MUST BE EARNESTLY SOUGHT FOR. These wise men had a little stock of truth to start with, but they made the most of that which had been given them. Some word, some example, some passing, inward inspiration, may be the star in the East, bidding the soul hope and persevere.
III. This history teaches WHAT IS THE REAL OBJECT OF RELIGIOUS INQUIRY. Worship is the joint result of thought, affection, and will, rising upward towards God, and then shrinking into the very dust before Him. It is much more than mere religious thought, it is the soul seeking the true centre of the spiritual universe with all its powers.
(Canon Liddon.)His birthplace, as in everything else belonging to Him, is a living parable.
I. It was a FOREIGN COUNTRY. In Judaea, not in Galilee. To teach us that this world is an alien land to us, although we may have grown old in it. Jesus Christ was only a stranger and a sojourner in it; and we in like manner are sojourners.
II. It was a SMALL VILLAGE. The King of kings is born in an obscure place, and the Lord of might, of lowly parentage. God reverses the judgment of this world concerning many things.
III. It was in BETHLEHEM. In Bethlehem, "the house of bread," was born the Living Bread. Before Christ was born, the world was full of starving men, hungering after pleasures, riches, and honours. He Himself satisfies all men's hunger.
IV. It was a village BY THE WAY. Showing that our present life is the way to death. May we follow Jesus Christ from Bethlehem to Zion.
(William of Auvergne.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,