Read Matthew 2:1-6
The wise men ask an interesting question: “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” Perhaps the wise men wondered why the star led them to a small peasant town, instead of a capital city like Jerusalem, to see a king. Maybe they wondered why this king was born in an animal manger instead of a palace. When the wise men found Jesus, they must have pondered, “What child is this?” They must have been amazed at the angelic hosts and the shepherds sent instead of loyal subjects. Yet, even if they were perplexed, the wise men still responded with joy, worship, and gifts. Since then, centuries of people have continued to wonder about this baby born in Bethlehem, the city where David was anointed king.
In Matthew’s references to Old Testament prophets, he not only declares the birthplace of the long-awaited redeemer of Israel prophesied 600 years before, but he also uses two metaphors to describe this baby. Jesus will be both a mighty “ruler” and a “shepherd” tenderly tending to his people.
With a similar wonder, an unknown writer considers the following about Jesus:
“He who is the Bread of Life began His ministry hungering in the wilderness. He who is the Water of Life ended His ministry thirsting on the cross. Christ hungered as a man, yet fed the multitudes as God. He was weary, yet He is our rest. He prayed, yet he hears prayers. He was sold for 30 pieces of silver, yet He redeems sinners. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd. He died, and by dying destroyed death.”
We can have comfort because he who is our strong deliverer also has a tender heart. His arms sustain the universe, but they also gather lambs. He is the beginning and the end, fully God and fully man, the everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.
Reflection and Response
Read the prophecy from Micah 5:2 and wonder at how this prophecy was directly fulfilled centuries later in the person of Jesus. Spend a few moments today worshiping God by singing “What Child is This?” a Christmas carol derived from a longer poem by William Dix called “The Manger Throne.” Use this carol to ponder all that Jesus Christ is — the promised, long-awaited Messiah, coming in might and with mercy, to you.
By Donna Burns