What would you give a king? The thought is almost overwhelming. What could a normal person ever hope to give such an important person? Or what would a king even want to receive that he doesn’t already have? And plenty of, I am sure!
In the midst of this maddening quest for the perfect gift this retail season, it can leave many of us feeling overwhelmed and very far from the intended “reason” for the season. Truth be told, if the minutes were counted, how many of us spend more time thinking of what to buy for ourselves or others, compared to the world changing event we are supposed to be celebrating?
This event was not only world changing, but life and time changing as well. It had implications as vast as the world itself, as intimately personal as each individual, and signified such importance that the keeping of time is measured by it. And the Magi knew it.
They had been waiting and watching. They knew the magnitude of the event, even if the Jewish religious leaders of their day were oblivious to it. They saw “his star” and packed up and followed. Matthew 2:1-12 tells of their journey to find this newborn King. They came from the east, hundreds of miles from Jersulem, asking “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews?”
When King Herod heard this, it says he was disturbed and all Jerusalem with him. The religious leaders were summoned by King Herod to direct them and they answered that Bethlehem was the location of the long awaited prophecy of the Christ’s birth. So the Magi continued their travels on to Bethlehem.
What is astounding is not who went on to Bethlehem but who didn’t. All of Jersulem was disturbed by this great commotion of these Magi and their group accompanying them. Yet with all the uproar and fascination, only the Magi continued on to see what the outcome of the prophecy might be. What makes this so astounding is the fact that Jersulem is only 5 and a half miles from Bethlehem! Why wouldn’t the religious leaders, who had been waiting hundreds of years for this prophecy to be fulfilled, think it worth the 5 mile journey to see if it was true?! Why hadn’t curiosity even been enough to motivate them?
The Magi not only thought the journey was worthy, they came prepared to meet royalty by bringing gifts. But that is not their primary reason for the journey. They came to give something far more important and much less tangible than their “treasures”.
So what do you give a king, a newborn king, the King of all kings? Surprisingly it is something that even the most financially strained can afford and readily give. Worship!
Worship was given as the reason for their journey in verse 2 and 11. They came to worship. Before they gave their “treasures”, they gave Him their most valued gift, their worship. And that is still the most appropriate response to this historic event these 2,000 plus years later.
May we not be like the religious leaders of that day by neglecting to make the effort to offer to Christ what is so easy to give. When so many in our day and time are tempted to give more than is affordable and reasonable, let us instead indulge in the real reason for the season. His name is Jesus and He is worthy of more than a spending frenzy of commercialism. He is worthy of no less than our worship, which is the most satisfying gift of all to give!