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December 25 – Wise gentiles worship the King of the Jews

“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.” – Matthew 2:1 

Scripture reading: Matthew 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God caused a bright star to shine in the east. Balaam, the false prophet, had predicted that a star would rise out of Jacob (Numbers 24:17). God sent a miracle star. Somehow the magi, who were students of the stars, realized that the star was unique and significant. Later, this miracle star would appear right over the home in Bethlehem where the infant Saviour was living.

Jesus is like a star. Stars shine in the darkness. Christ is the “bright and morning star.” Stars provided the ancients with direction for travel. Christ’s teaching reveals the way in which wretched sinners can be reconciled to a holy and just God.

Soon, Gentile magi travel hundreds of miles in search of the King of the Jews. What an embarrassing reception the wisemen receive in Jerusalem. The Jews do not even know that the promised Messiah has been born. King Herod becomes suspicious of a potential rival. The king does pretend to celebrate Christmas.

Learning that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, the magi continue their journey. The star reappears. The wisemen gave the first Christmas presents: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gentile scholars bow before the infant Jesus. Jesus is king and should be honoured as such. The coming of these Gentiles to worship Jesus prefigures the future ingathering of a catholic church. God sent uncircumcised Gentile magi to worship Christ to show that the Saviour is Lord of all and that both Jews and Gentiles owe Him adoration.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you would want to bring honour and worship to the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that you would be generous with the gifts that you give to the Lord as you donate to Christian causes.

Rev. Nathan Brummel is Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament at Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary, and an associate pastor at Immanuel United Reformed Church in DeMotte, Indiana. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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