What Jesus Did! 'God of the Unexpected' — Matthew 2:1-2

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea. He was born during the time when Herod was king. After Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. The wise men asked people, "Where is the new baby that is the king of the Jews? We saw the star that shows he was born. We saw the star rise in the sky in the east. We came to worship him."
— Matthew 2:1-2
Illustration of Matthew 2:1-2 — "Where is the new baby that is the king of the Jews? We saw the star that shows he was born. We saw the star rise in the sky in the east. We came to worship him."

Key Thought

God does the unexpected! There was no way anyone would suspect—much less expect—that Easterners would come to worship a Jewish King, especially a baby one. No normal person would have expected a King to be born in Bethlehem, a little obscure town of insignificance. No faithful Israelite would have ever believed astrologers would be led to the true God through their false, stargazing-worship. (Remember that astrology was steadfastly condemned under Mosaic Law as one of the acts of divination—magically foretelling the future! Deut. 18:9-15) But then, God doesn't have to do things the way normal Israelites, Gentiles, or modern people do them. Aren't we glad God is full of surprises! Aren't we glad he sent Jesus as his greatest Surprise!

Today's Prayer

O Sovereign and Almighty Lord, please forgive me for trying to tame you and make you predictable. You have always been full of surprises. Please "surprise" me in my lifetime by bringing your salvation to every nation, language, tribe, and people in our world. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea. He was born during the time when Herod was king. After Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. The wise men asked people, "Where is the new baby that is the king of the Jews? We saw the star that shows he was born. We saw the star rise in the sky in the east. We came to worship him." King Herod heard about this new king of the Jews. Herod was troubled about this. And all the people in Jerusalem were worried too. Herod called a meeting of all the leading Jewish priests and teachers of the law. Herod asked them where the Christ would be born. They answered, "In the town of Bethlehem in Judea. The prophet wrote about this {in the Scriptures }: 'Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are important among the rulers of Judah. Yes, a ruler will come from you, and that ruler will lead Israel, my people.'" Then Herod had a secret meeting with the wise men from the east. Herod learned from the wise men the exact time they first saw the star. Then Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem. Herod said to the wise men, "Go and look carefully to find the new baby. When you find the baby, come tell me. Then I can go worship him too." The wise men heard the king and then left. They saw the same star they had seen in the east. The wise men followed the star. The star went before them until it stopped above the place where the baby was. The wise men were happy to see the star. They were very excited. The wise men came to the house where the baby was. They saw the baby with his mother Mary. The wise men bowed down and worshiped the baby. The wise men opened the gifts they brought for the baby. They gave the baby treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But God warned the wise men in a dream. God warned them not to go back to Herod. So the wise men went home to their own country a different way.

Matthew 2:1-12

Related Scripture Readings

But we speak God's secret wisdom. This wisdom has been hidden {from people}. God planned this wisdom for our glory. He planned it before the world began. None of the rulers of this world understood this wisdom. If they had understood it, then they would not have killed our glorious Lord on a cross. But like the Scriptures say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no person has imagined what God has prepared for those people that love him."

1 Corinthians 2:7-9

If you would tear open the skies and come down to earth, {then everything would change}. The mountains would melt before you. {The mountains} would burst into flames like burning bushes. {The mountains would boil like} water on the fire. Then your enemies would learn about you. Then all nations would shake with fear when they see you. But we don't really want you to do these things. The mountains would melt before you. Your people never really listened to you. Your people never really heard the things you said. No person has ever seen a God like you. There is no other God—only you. If people are patient and wait for you to help them, then you will do great things for them.

Isaiah 64:1-4

You know very well that the day the Lord comes again will be {a surprise} like a thief who comes at night.

1 Thessalonians 5:2

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.