What Messiah Are You Looking For? …Hello Hump Day readers. Well, this is ‘it’—the last week for getting your Christmas cards sent or emailed, packages sent…oh my, the rush is on. But this devotion is anything but a rush! It’s about a two-year timing for Christmas gifts! Let’s dive into the Magi story, which, outside of the virgin birth, is one miracle after another!

Matthew’s gospel gives their story (Chapter 2:1-10 selected verses).

“Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this…as everyone in Jerusalem…then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

Doesn’t it seem a little unusual that foreign dignitaries arrived from the East, claiming to have seen a star that led them to that very area, and the One they were seeking was called the “king of the Jews?” It not only upset Herod, but the religious leaders as well. Herod wanted ‘no Messiah’ upstaging his power, and the religious leaders were looking for a ‘different Messiah’ whom they could control. Neither of these choices came to fruition.

And doesn’t it seem a little unusual that these Magi seemed to have more spiritual insight than the religious leaders who had dedicated themselves to the Scriptures?! Yes, the Magi were into occultism and astrology, they had great importance and were highly educated; yet, it appears that deep down inside, they wanted to know the truth…and our loving God came to them in a way that they could understand. They were into stars, so God brought them a star that would lead them to the truth!

I find it interesting that the Bible says nothing about 3 wise men, that they came on camels, and had no names. In fact, you may enjoy that nativity on display in your home with Jesus, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, animal and wise men and camels, but the wise men never got to the manger! By the time they arrived, the holy family were living in a house.! But please, keep those kings in your nativity, it reminds us of God’s deep love for ALL PEOPLE.

The story of the Magi is our story, and how God reaches out to each of us, no matter our skin color, our faith or no faith—no one for any reason is left out. From the homeless camp to the richest moguls, God reaches hardened hearts and souls and shows us our need for Jesus.

One of my favorite Scriptures is from Jeremiah 20:11-13 [NLT]: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”

The miracle of Jesus’ love tells us that if someone really wants to know Him they can find Him even if they are floundering and everything in their lives seems to be falling apart. But they must keep seeking and at the perfect timing, Jesus will reveal Himself to them and His precious help is always there for them 24/7. What a Christmas gift all year long!

So, what Messiah are you looking for this Christmas? Don’t fall into the trap of those religious leaders who only want Jesus if He will accept their terms. Way too many people in our society want this kind of ‘personal messiah’ and it’s a deadly choice. Instead, look for the true Messiah, the Son of God who laid aside the glories of heaven to come and live among us, who humbled Himself as a baby in a manger and a cross where He died so we can live with hope, joy, peace and love now and forever with Him in eternity. Hallelujah to our Jeshua Messiah, AMEN!