Saturday, December 21, 2019

The King Is Born

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Merry Christmas everyone! 

As the world readies itself to celebrate our Savior’s birth, we are caught up easily in the festivities, the lights, the giving of gifts, and all the rest that comes with this holiday. Though God never would have underwritten such a celebration, we find ourselves overjoyed about His faithful fulfillment of His promise, to send a Redeemer to a world that barely recognizes its need to be saved. 

The promises of a coming Savior are many, and we’ll cover some of them this morning in Matthew’s Gospel text. The only portion of Jesus’ birth that even mentions the giving of gifts is with the Wise Men that traveled from the East. And they brought gifts for the King, not for each other. 

Known in the Middle East of that time as “King Makers,” their arrival at a nation’s border would strike fear and wonder in the rulers of the nation on whose border they showed up. The scriptures are silent about how many Wise men there actually were, but their three gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh has somewhat forged the idea that there were but three Wise Men. It’s from a fourteenth century Armenian tradition identifies them as Balthasar, King of Arabia; Melchior, King of Persia; and Gasper, King of India. (But that’s tradition, and not from God’s Word.)

A new King was to be recognized, but why would three men at the Border cause such fear and awe? However many Wise Men there actually were, they earned the respect of other nations and rulers because they didn’t arrive alone. 

They would arrive on horses, animals of war, not peace, and they would arrive with a full contingent of their cavalry soldiers to assure their safe arrival, this time into Roman territory. There would be hundreds of Calvarymen, if not thousands! For them, it was a major honorable event: the Coronation of a new King, attended by Heads of State, and foreign dignitaties! But for King Herod and the Romans, it appeared as an invasion to bring their rule in tiny Palestine to an end! 

Our newborn King had been born. 

The Scriptures had affirmed what the stars of heaven had declared.

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