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Shepherds & Kings
Terry R. Baughman
“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2).
The advent of the incarnation drew the spiritually attuned from far and near. The convergence of elements in heaven and on earth gave witness to the drama of the moment. In the fullness of time, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14 KJV). The star guided wisemen from the East and the Glory of the Lord shone to shepherds calling them from the fields. From the wealthy to the poor there was equal opportunity to witness the greatest moment of history and the singular event that remains premier to the present. Shepherds and kings came to confirm the miracle and to adore Him in worship.
Some came with questions, “Where is He?” … and they came in wonder to worship, “We have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2). Others came looking for a sign, “This will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12), while the greatest sign was the ancient prophecy, “The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
This moment in Bethlehem was the point of a plethora of prophecies, the fulfillment of God’s plan plotted from the foundation of the world, the pivotal point of every prediction, the year of the Lord’s favor. From Mary’s question, “How can this be?” (Luke 1:34) to John’s declaration, “This is He” (John 1:33), divine purpose prepared the way and proclaimed the magnitude of this incredible event, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14).
An acute awareness of the supreme sanctity of this nativity came to a few, while the masses were unaware and even ambivalent concerning the transient couple traveling to fulfill their obligation in the census. Count those who were awaiting this arrival: Mary and Joseph, a few shepherds and a few travelers from the distant East, Zachariah and Elizabeth (Mary’s relative), an aged priest named Simeon, an old widowed prophetess named Anna, were all aware of this momentous birth and worshipped the Lord for His appearance.
At the same time others plotted against the newborn and perceived Him to be a threat to the ruling party. Herod feigned interest in the birth of this child, “When you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also” (Matthew 2:8). Secretly, he plotted destruction for Him and only the intervention of an angel caused the wise men to seek an alternate route back home, and the flight of the young family to Egypt until the danger passed. The angry monarch slaughtered the children around Bethlehem under the age of two, seeking to destroy the One proclaimed to be the newborn king!
There will always be the skeptics, the detractors, and the despots who seek to diminish and destroy the determined purpose of God. Their efforts will never succeed. All the tactics of deception of the enemy will fail. Truth will prevail and the good news of Jesus Christ will never cease being proclaimed to the world. The message of Christmas is the story of God, His love for His Creation and His plan to bring us salvation. Worship is at the core of the narrative. All who recognize Him will adore Him.
Joy to the world, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her King!
“I am covered by your covenant of mercy and love. So I come to your sanctuary with deepest awe to bow in worship and adore you” (Psalm 5:7 The Passion Translation).