‘WISE MEN FROM THE EAST’
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,
saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."
Scripture makes no mention of three kings. In various versions I have looked at, we see ‘wise men’ mentioned most often. The Amplified Bible has ‘astrologers’ bracketed after wise men, while others show ‘magi’, ‘mages’, ‘scholars’ and ‘spiritual priests’. The word translated as ‘wise men’ is a name given by the Chaldeans, Medes and Persians to teachers, priests, physicians, astrologers, seers, soothsayers, sorcerers and interpreters of dreams as well as the other interpretations already mentioned. But not kings.
As already suggested, there is a sense that any who follow Jesus are embodied in the three kings — and indeed the shepherds. That they are both shown at His birth reveals that they are aspects of His nature. We are to be wise as kings, and as caring as shepherds. As kings we acknowledge Him as King of kings, and as shepherds we recognise Him as the Great Shepherd of the sheep.
He will raise us to be Kings and Priests in His service, and to worship Him. The ‘kings’ are thought by some to represent the nations of the earth and bring gifts which reveal that they recognise the divine and holy nature of the Christ child, as well as His purpose for all mankind. Priests — another translation of ‘wise men’ — is the call to ministry, whatever aspect that the Holy Spirit has revealed in you. These are attributes of the true believer.
These last years have seen a great intensifying of troubles afflicting this earth — a pandemic, wars, environmental disasters on an unprecedented scale, climate change, economic chaos, and food shortages, rising crime levels, mental health issues and fuel poverty. All this and more, coincident with a steep decline in religious faith (at least in the ‘enlightened’ West).
Are these the products of ‘the end of days’? Perhaps. It seems more than enough to be going on with. LUKE 21:26 says men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken, when referring to the coming of the Son of Man. But Our Lord tells us not to fear such things. If we are true to Him, discerning the times and coming before Him as believers, worshipping and paying tribute — giving adoration indeed — then Let not your heart be troubled.
Jesus said “And where I go you know, and the way you know." Now we must walk in His way as the kings that He has raised us to be.
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS
John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
WE THREE KINGS — Moya Brennan
PRAYER requires CONCENTRATION
IT IS AT first difficult to learn a new and better way of breathing, consequently we are conscious of it for a time, but it is merely consciousness of what will by habit become an unconscious possession. So in the better and new way of breathing spiritually in prayer, we shall be conscious of forming the habit, but it will soon pass into normal spiritual health.
[from ‘Christian Discipline Vol 2’ by Oswald Chambers]
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COMING NEXT… (488) MEN LIKE TREES, WALKING
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS…
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART