MATTHEW 2:1-12

Hi.. I’m Gene.. and you’re listening to the common man commentary.. podcast #3.

Today We will be looking at Matthew 2 : 1-12

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory— this was during Herod’s kingship—a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.”

When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly: It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land, no longer bringing up the rear. From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.”

Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.”

Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!

They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.”


The cast of characters ..

HEROD THE GREAT !   ( known by every Jew ..). World Famous architect.. astounding talent.. very wealthy..  no slaves.. he paid his laborers who built palaces all over Jude’s.. without question a genius. 

i believe he owned a very large import export business moving goods back and forth from Rome and Greece…brilliant … futuristic. ..then .. the flip side.. as there often is with men like this..He was an evil tyrant..  megalomaniac .. narcissist .. sexually perverse.. paranoid baby killer.. wicked to his core.. and he dies ugly.. diseased and out of his mind.. he had become the pawn of Satan

THE SCHOLARS ( wise men or Magi, probably from The Medain tribe in Persia.. to the east…. known to be philosophers, students of science and medicine.. and the stars..).. .. were focused and dedicated.. led by knowledge .. by the stars… and by dreams ..

We are “Looking for the King “.    *** those who seek me find me .. a beautiful promise.. proverbs 8:17 …… no one seems to be excluded from this proclamation.. there is no .. “except for you”..   ..  what does that mean for those who don’t seek ?  

There are some that say you find exactly what you are looking for. They may be right.. What you put your life energy into has a way of coming back to you. If you surround yourself with only people who see things exactly the way you do.. you will likely all agree. A single perspective gets what it is looking at. 

The verse also says .. “We observed “  … this carries intentionality.. ( but they clearly did not know everything ) .. there were unknowns .. this is the same for us..  the unknowns..  for some the unknowns create paralysis … for others .. they move ahead. .. without knowing.. for me that means.. “ doing it afraid “ courage does not mean the absence of fear.. it means you do what needs done in the presence of fear. 

You ..“ do it afraid “.

A treasure hunt..  for a prize beyond all prizes..  Epic.. big.. The anointed King of the world ! Christ

“A pilgrimage “. …  Seeking…  something transcendent.. something more..  they have an unanswered question.. a gap. .. that needs filled ..  hunger..

( it brings to mind a Spielberg movie.. “ close encounters of the third kind“ .. Richard Dreyfus’s character becomes infatuated with a shape..  after an encounter with a alien spacecraft in the middle of the night.. ( kinda sounds like a star.. ok .. that’s funny..  no .. Jesus was not an Alien.. just sayin.. ) so..  Richard.. he knows it means something.. he is compelled beyond reason to discover the meaning behind the “vision” ..  his wife takes the kids and escapes because it appears like he’s lost his mind..  .. Richard ponders a pile of mashed potatoes and an indoor landscape project before he finds his way into the desert and devils tower…   here he discovers aliens that lovingly take him by the hand and take him on the greatest adventure of his life.. cue music….  ok… 

I relate a little to these scholars.. on a treasure hunt..   I am on this journey too.. in the fight to discover more.. fighting past my own sinful nature, religion and laziness to a place of beauty, truth, holiness and love.  I, like them believe this treasure lies in Jesus.. a promise fulfilled..a lost relationship with God that will heal every broken part of me..  I don’t have all the answers.. not even close.. but there is more than enough evidence to keep me in the hunt.. there is a Devine cooperation taking place.. a star in the sky at just the right time.. A dream exactly when I need it.. and Joy at discovering He is there.. 

So Herod the great .. terrified ?  What s that ?   His scribes knew.. The Messiah was coming ..  Micah 5:2 “He will shepherd-rule my people “ .. what a contrast.. Herod the great and Jesus..  Herod rules with a whip .. Jesus rules with compassion ..revealing at every moment the heart and true nature of God !

At the center of every dark hearted narcissist, megalomaniac is fear. Fear that someone is going to come and take what they have away from them. As we shall see soon enough.. they will do anything to remove that threat. 

Lies….Lies.. all lies..  Herod was a player.. he pretended to be devout..  this kind of game is still being played out today.. 

The verse says :  They ( the scholars )arrived at the right time.. hmmmm   Looks like More planning was evolved.. 

The verses says .. “They could hardly contain themselves “.  JOY ! .. my imagination helps me here ( just so you know.. imagination was God’s idea.. ) ..  I doubt anyone knows for sure exactly how long these scholars were on this journey.. but I’m pretty sure they had not caught a red eye from Babylon the night before.. they had been walking.. or maybe riding camels.. a long long time… Chasing a star .. a dream ..

When they finally discovered Jesus, they were flat out blown away. !     They were “Overcome”.  That’s not sedate.. calm .. they .. worshipped .. real worship expresses deep adoration..its a heart felt thing that comes from inside and must be expressed outwardly…and they came with.. gifts ( some believe enough money to support Mary, Joe and Jesus for a very long time ).. they were prepared for what they hoped they would find. 

Another miracle : a dream warning..  don’t go back to Herod !   … it does appear to me that our conscious mind .. when we are awake, does not seem to be the preferred choice of God to speak these vitally important messages.. After all.. if they are so important.. why not just tell me at breakfast.. right to my face ?  My guess is we are the reason. We don’t hear well or listen well.  In these dreams, we don’t argue with God. No debate.. We don’t discuss an alternate plan.. submit it to a board meeting agenda to hash and rehash….and then i guess there could have been a the face to face altercation with and Angel !  A 10 foot tall being so imposing that on nearly all accounts people pass out or collapse at just seeing them. Probably not a good choice.

Here is something very safe to say.  .. The scholars are now and .. forever changed.. and so is Mary and Joe.. what kind of confidence did that bring to them?  You have a baby in a barn or cave like stable carved into lime stone walls of a hill side in the middle of nowhere.. no one you know knows where you are and some smart guys with bags of money to give you show up and worship your infant child. Confidence in God at this moment took a giant step forward for everyone present

Although extremely strange to read about… this is the nature of God. He uses the implausible.. unpredictable..impracticable to achieve His purposes, and in this case His purpose is to save His children. You and me !  

You’ve been listening the The Common Man Commentary.. I am Gene Ort..

Blessings !