What Jesus Did! 'God's Word in the Wrong Hands' — Matthew 2:3-6

Monday, January 9, 2017

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.'"
— Matthew 2:3-6
Illustration of Matthew 2:3-6 — "In the town of Bethlehem in Judea."

Key Thought

While God is full of surprises, he has repeatedly given his people help in understanding—even anticipating, his greatest works of salvation. The prophets had seen a new David coming to redeem and lead God's people. Like David of old, this new David would also be a shepherd from the town of Bethlehem. But, like so many in our time, Herod was more interested in using this understanding of God's plan to help himself rather than to be molded into a person of God. We must learn that God's Word in Scripture is given to us to help us know, obey, and worship him, not simply to collect a set of facts to use for our own personal advantage.

Today's Prayer

Dear Father, I want to know your Word so I may more perfectly obey your will. Please help me to find your truth and live it, not just discuss it or use it for my own selfish purposes. I pray this in the name of the Living Word. 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

The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you feel sorry for Saul? You are feeling sorry for him, even after I told you that I refuse to let Saul be the king of Israel! Fill your horn with oil and go to Bethlehem. I am sending you to a man named Jesse. Jesse lives in Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be the new king." But Samuel said, "If I go, Saul will hear the news. Then he will try to kill me." The Lord said, "Go to Bethlehem. Take a young calf with you. Say, 'I have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord.'

1 Samuel 16:1-2

Another time, David was in the fortress, and a group of Philistine soldiers was in Bethlehem. David was thirsty {for some water from his home town}. So he said, "I wish someone could give me some water from that well near the city gate in Bethlehem." {David did not really want this, he was only talking.} But the Three fought their way through the Philistine army. These three men got some water from the well near the city gate in Bethlehem. Then the Three Heroes brought the water to David. But David refused to drink the water. He poured it out on the ground as an offering to the Lord. David said, "God, I can't drink this water. It would be like drinking the blood of the men who risked their lives to get this water for me." That is why David refused to drink the water. The Three Heroes did many brave things like that.

1 Chronicles 11:16-19

Other people said, "He is the Christ. " Other people said, "The Christ will not come from Galilee. The Scriptures say that the Christ will come from the family of David. And the Scriptures say that the Christ will come from Bethlehem, the town where David lived."

John 7:41-42

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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.