Read Matthew 1
In today’s reading:
The Deity of Christ; John the Baptist; The lamb of God; His first miracle at Cana; the purification of the temple; the man Nicodemus
” E l birth of Jesus Christ came about : His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found conceived of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18).
“Magi from the east came to Jerusalem” (wise men) guided by “His star” , they may have come from Babylon, and they inquired and asked: “Where is the King of the Jews, who has been born? For we have seen His star in the east, and we come to worship Him ” (2: 1-2). It is likely that these men had studied the prophecies of Daniel who, during the captivity, gave a very detailed explanation of the number of years that would pass before the birth of the Messiah ( Daniel 9: 25-26 ).
It may have taken the wise men a long time after the birth of Christ to reach Bethlehem, for we read: “And as they entered the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and falling down, they worshiped Him” (Matthew 2: eleven). Finding the King who had been prophesied “in the house” as “a Child” instead of a baby in a manger indicates that many months had passed since the birth of Jesus in that manger in Bethlehem.
The “magi” (wise men) said, “we come to worship him” (2: 2). His worship included three kinds of gifts (2:11). First, they offered “gold,” the best gift for the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (I Timothy 6:15). Then, they offered “incense,” a sweet-smelling perfume used on the incense altar in the temple, symbolic of our prayers going up to God. The best gift for a priest, for this King would also be our “High Priest” (Hebrews 4:14), “the one who also intercedes for us” before God (Romans 8:34). They also offered “myrrh”,which meant that Jesus was destined to die; myrrh was used many times as a species during burials (John 19:39).
In God’s providence, their gifts also provided adequate resources for Joseph and Mary’s journey and their sojourn in Egypt, where they stayed “until Herod’s death; so that what the Lord said through the prophet might be fulfilled, when he said: Out of Egypt I called My Son ” (Matthew 2:15; Hosea 11: 1 ). So they returned and “ (dwelt) in the city called Nazareth” (where Jesus lived until He was about 30 years old) (Matthew 2:23).
Thought for today:Genuine love is expressed when we are willing to give the Lord our time and our tithes.
Memory Verse of the Week: James 1:17