Sunday, May 25, 2014

Meditations on Matthew 2:1-12

Matthew 2:1-12 Read it yourself

Wise men from the east come to Jerusalem looking for a king. They had enough information to get there. They saw a star and it meant something to them, something more than what everybody else saw. Even though they were wise and even though they saw something no one else saw, they didn't know enough or have enough information without going to someone else for more information. Perhaps that is what made them wise. Being willing to seek out the missing knowledge that will give them the right clues to find what (or in this case, who) they were seeking.

Their quest for more information shows us that the scribes and priests had the knowledge but they did nothing with it. I suppose that makes them fools. Since they had the knowledge but didn't act upon what they knew. 

We also see Herod's character whose lust to maintain power and control leads him to perpetrate one of the greatest atrocities in history by massacring the baby boys of Bethlehem. He plays the fool be thinking he was going to outthink God. He had the knowledge and he used it for his own purposes and sealed his own fate while at the same time causing the young parents of Jesus to flee to Egypt, unknowingly fulfilling another prophecy about the Messiah coming out of Egypt.

What I find fascinating about this story is how the purposes of God play out in each of the characters lives without any of them conciously attempting to do God's will or to make something happen. The greatest event in the history of the world unfolds like clockwork in spite of the inaction of some and the contrary actions of others.

Sometimes you get all in a tizzy about events unfolding in your life. You feel as if you have to take actions that you don't want to take in order to stave off some great catastrophe. You take them because they seem like an expedient way to solve a problem. At other times you are paralyzed with inaction while events unfold in such a way that it upsets your cherished comfort. In either case, if your focus is not on God and what he wants you to do, you end up playing the fool.

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