December 22

Matthew 2:1-2

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Born a child, and yet a King. Even these wise men from foreign lands recognized the rule of the newborn King. And so they came, not just to see him or confirm his birth; they came to worship him, to give him glory and praise.

But his own people would fail to do the same. The king they longed for would lead them to great political and military victories. His reign would garner renown around the world, as he restored Israel to its previous might.

Years later, Jesus would be surrounded by another crowd of foreigners who intended to crown him. But this crown was made of thorns. They spit on him and mocked him, shouting, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And he was led to Golgotha and crucified. As he hung from the cross, the charge against him rested above his head: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

But three days later, the King returned. He arose, triumphant over death and the grave, victorious over sin and Satan. And his reign was only beginning.

Glorious now behold Him arise

King and God and Sacrifice

Alleluia, Alleluia

Earth to heav'n replies

- We Three Kings of Orient Are