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

Friday, January 8, 2021

ToGather: Here, Near, and Far

The Lord is calling us to be his presence in the broken world.

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Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him."
— Matthew 2:1-2 NLT

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. Even though King David was born in Bethlehem and there was a prophecy of another ruler from Bethlehem (Matthew 2:6), it was a little obscure, insignificant town. Also, no faithful Israelite would have ever believed astrologers would be led to the true God through their false, stargazing-worship. (Remember that acts of divination, including astrology to interpret signs from heavenly bodies, were steadfastly condemned under the law of Moses! Deuteronomy 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 2:7-9
  • Isaiah 64:1-4
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:2

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Illustration

Illustration of Matthew 2:1-2 NLT — "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.