For the Jew and the Gentile
Prayer: Dear Holy God. You are the Living God and it is my honor to worship You and praise You will all of my life. Please Holy Spirit, be welcomed in this time of devotion and bring forth the things that I need to think about today. Challenge my faith and cause me to grow as only You are able to do. Be glorified in this time and all of my day. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Read: Matthew 2:1-12
Thoughts: Put a roomful of young women together and quite often the conversation will eventually come around to birthing stories. While the deliveries are pretty much all the same, there are always details of each birth that make that moment incredible, difficult, humorous, unique, or challenging for the mom (and dad) as she remembers all that happened that wonderful day. While the Christmas story is simply the recounting of the birth of a Child, it is absolutely masterful in scope and detail. What are missing are the details of the birth itself, which really, who needs to know that?! The details that are included bring depth and richness to the telling of the Savior’s birth and most important tell us who He came to save.
The announcement of the birth comes first to the shepherds in the fields. These are simple people out doing their job. They are working the night shift and probably welcomed a break in the routine. Most likely, they were women or young boys. That is who was generally assigned this lowly work. Jesus comes to the “everyman.” The star over Bethlehem announces the birth to the entire world! Anyone who is willing to look up into the night sky cannot help but notice something new amidst the millions of stars. Jesus comes for all the world. Those who took notice of the star included the Jewish leader, King Herod, who certainly wondered about the star and asked his Old Testament scholars why the star appeared. They were able to tell him that it had been prophesied that a King would be born in Bethlehem. Generations before Jesus is born, the prophet Isaiah foretold the star shining in the sky that would let the world know that something momentous had happened. “And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Isaiah 60:3) Even Isaiah knew that Jesus would be the Savior for the world, not just the Jews. And so the wise men came from the East (possibly Iraq, Iran – somewhere in that vicinity). Jesus comes for both the Jew and the Gentile and were invited by God Himself to witness the miracle of the Infant Savior.
These small details all point to the willingness of God that all should know of Him and that He sent Jesus to die for anyone who would believe, not just for a specific race or ethnic group. He truly is the Savior of us all!
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for Your perfect plan for my salvation. Thank You that I can share this message with everyone, for all are welcome into Your Kingdom. Help me remember that Your plan includes me and even those I may not like very much and open my heart to receive them with grace. You are an awesome God and the beauty of Your plan shows that! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.