The Shepherds, The Wise Men, and Herod

Luke 2:12,16,20:
“And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger…So they went with haste and [by searching] found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger…And the shepherds returned, glorifying praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.”

Matthew 2:1-2; 9,11
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea…behold, wise men [astrologers] from the east came to Jerusalem asking “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east at its rising and have come to worship Him.”…When they had listened to the King, they went their way, and behold, the star which had been seen in the east in its rising went before them until it came and stood over the place where the young child was…and on going into the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshipped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented to Him gifts – gold and frankincense and myrrh.”

Matthew 2:4-5; 8, 16
“So he called together all the chief priests and learned men (scribes) of the people and anxiously asked them where the Christ was to be born. They replied to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea”…Then he sent them to Bethlehem saying, “Go and search for the Child carefully and diligently, and when you have found Him, bring me word”…Then Herod, when he realized that he had been mislead by the wise men, was furiously enraged, and he sent and put to death all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that territory who were two years and under…”

When the angels appeared to the shepherds, they told the shepherds how to find Jesus, how to identify this promised one. It was up to the shepherds to go and seek Jesus out. They still had to go and search for Him on their own. They did and they discovered the Truth and went away rejoicing and praising God.

Likewise the wise men had to follow the sign given to them – the star – to find Jesus. They didn’t stop their search when they were told where He was, they continued on until they found Him. They, too, were filled with praise and worship and honored God by their gifts to His Son.

Herod, on the other hand, only sent men to find Jesus. He did not seek Him out himself. By doing so, he missed finding Jesus both times. Instead of coming and finding Jesus himself and possibly missing out on being filled with awe and worship for God, he became enraged. Herod became the opposite of blessed.

We can tell people of Jesus. We can give them the signs to know Him by, we can even lead them to His door. But unless they choose to seek God out for themselves, they will not find Him.

Likewise, we can know of Jesus, we can see signs and hear of Him, but if we do not seek Him out for ourselves then we will not find Him. Jesus wasn’t born, and everything thereafter, so that we could only hear about Him. He came to know and be known, to have a relationship with us. Herod missed out on a great opportunity to know the King of kings. Don’t do the same. Luckily for us, we don’t have to travel miles and miles over days and years to find Him. He’s wherever we are, just a word away. Call upon Him, seek Him out, know Him, and you’ll never be unsatisfied again.

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