Advent Days 21, 22, and 23 – Matthew 2:1-12
The Magi Visit the Messiah
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 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.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Thank you for joining our family Advent study! Advent is an arrival or coming, and it’s a time for us as Christians to prepare for the coming of Jesus on Christmas. Our reading plan during Advent will explore the Christmas story and is based on the family-friendly Advent study “Truth in the Tinsel” by Amanda White. We will be using the daily scriptures in our personal time at the feet of Jesus while we SOAP (Not sure what SOAP is? Go here for the tutorial.) and then sharing these scriptures with our families so we can all prepare together and learn what Christmas is really about. For ideas to keep the young ones engaged and daily ornament crafts, get your copy of “Truth in the Tinsel” here.
Below is a SOAP journal entry from our team to help dive into God’s Word. We encourage you to join in this study by sharing in the Comments section on our website. You can share what God’s teaching you or your family, prayer requests, family Christmas traditions, funny responses from your kids, etc.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.
Light | Becky Newman
Imagine a light shining so bright that it attracts people from other countries to it. Reminds me of the verse about a city on a hill from later in Matthew: “You are the light of the world. A city on the hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14) Jesus was talking to his followers in this verse. In other words, I am the light of the world; we are the light of the world. This is not a light I can generate on my own; Matthew 2:2 here and John 8:12 says it’s coming straight from Jesus. And it’s a light that draws others toward it, good and evil, Jew and non-Jew, rich and poor, yet united in that we are all sinners in the darkness seeking the light. This is the same thing that unites all of the supporting characters in the Christmas story–Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zechariah, John the Baptist, Shepherds, Magi, even King Herod.
Now that Jesus is up in heaven, it’s up to me and you to shine His light that attracts all sinners to seek Him. Like a light bulb, He’s the electricity, I’m all the parts of the light bulb that don’t work unless they’re connected to the electricity, and all of our bulbs are connected like a strand of Christmas lights. How can I ensure that I’m letting His electricity flow through me? I’m finding that a constant prayer connection with God is more and more important to this. But I can’t get there if I’m not intentionally spending time with Him daily, through reading His Word and journaling. Then, things just kind of fall in place. He’s responsible for that! When I seek Him daily, He is faithful to ensure that I remain connected.
Thank You, God, that I, like the Magi, have found the light! Help me to stay connected to You so I can do my part in shining Your light that all the world may see. Help us as followers of Christ to work together so that the light shines ever brighter and attracts more and more. I pray that we would not fall for these schemes from Satan that seek to divide us as brothers and sisters in Christ–judgmentalism, wealth, politics, church denominations, comparison, etc. Help us to be one in mind and Spirit so that You can shine ever brighter.