Keep Planting Seeds

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
Matthew 2:1-3

When we arrange our manger scene, we typically place the wise men with the shepherds worshiping Jesus in the stable. Although this serene scene serves as a beautiful reminder of Jesus’ early life, it is not historically accurate. Angels appeared to the shepherds in the field the night of Jesus’ birth. The Magi or wise men visited Jesus much later. We can’t be sure exactly how much later, but we know the young family was no longer in the stable but living in a house. And we know that after the wise men returned to their country without reporting back to Herod, he ordered the death of all children two years-old and younger living in Bethlehem. So, it seems likely the wise men arrived sometime within two years after Jesus’ birth. Scripture mentions three gifts, so we often picture three Magi, but like the manger scene, that’s more for our convenience than Biblical accuracy.

Where did these Magi come from? Many scholars believe they came from Babylon. In the Old Testament, Daniel served as chief of the wise men, astrologers, magicians, and enchanters during Israel’s captivity in Babylon. Might he have told of the coming Messiah? Could that be how these men living in a foreign land hundreds of years later would follow a special star they were led to believe signaled the birth of the Messiah? Had the seeds faithful Daniel planted produced fruit centuries later?

Fast forward to when Scripture allows us to witness the Magi going to a large foreign town and boldly asking for help locating the Messiah. Word spread quickly until it reached a very jealous, insecure, violent King Herod. Have you considered how foolish these men may have looked following a star to distant lands and inquiring about a new king? They could have changed their story for fear of incurring Herod’s wrath. But they didn’t. They were bold and eager to share without fear what they knew to be true about Jesus. They were, like Daniel, unabashedly planting seeds, even on the hardest of hearts.

Can we do the same? Can we follow the example of these wise men by faithfully searching for Jesus each day, and never being ashamed or afraid to share what we know to be true?

God could have guided the Magi away from Jerusalem and directly to Bethlehem, but instead he allowed them to go right into a potentially perilous situation. Herod’s jealous rage and violent anger could have snuffed out not only the Messiah, but these wise men as well. When we plan our life, we want the path of least resistance. We’d prefer to hang out with friends and people who believe as we do. But the Lord’s ways are different than our ways. He often takes his people on paths that call on us to trust his wisdom and purpose. He often puts unbelievers in our path. Don’t shrink back, and don’t avoid them! Like Daniel and the wise men, use it as an opportunity to tell them what you know about Jesus.


Lord, please give us the desire and the strength to be wise. Help us to seek you constantly, that every moment of every day we are praising you and thanking you. And make us bold. Give us the courage and the words to proclaim what we know to be true. Do not allow us to cower in doubt or fear when we have the chance to plant a seed for you. Please use us like you used the Magi to accomplish your perfect and beautiful will. In Jesus’ name we pray and know you hear us. Amen.

Written by Rhoda Wolle
Provided by WELS Women’s Ministry

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