February 07, 2015

King of the Jews

Matthew 2:1-12

“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 2:2

The Magi came a long way seeking the new "king of the Jews." This seems ironic because the Magi, or "wise men," were subject to their own king, the ruler of Persia. But they followed a star to honor the birth of a foreign ruler, the newly born "king of the Jews." When they finally found the newborn king, the Magi worshiped him.

Herod's jealousy revealed a second irony. Herod was anxious and jealous because he thought anyone looking for the "king of the Jews" should be seeking him. So, to protect his throne, Herod went on a murderous rampage (see Matthew 2:16).

These ironies point out some significant truths about Jesus, the "king of the Jews." As Matthew later reveals, Jesus claims to be King not only of the Jews but also of Iraqis, Chinese, Americans, and all other peoples.

And this is not the last time Jesus is called "king of the Jews." When Jesus hangs on the cross, the Roman governor Pilate hangs a sign above his head, proclaiming him "jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews" (John 19:19). This King of all humankind suffered and died for you and me.

How will you worship him today with your thoughts, words, and deeds?

Jesus, King of the Jews and of all peoples, we bow down before you like the Magi did. By your mercy and grace, help us to worship you in every area of our lives. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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