Matthew 2:1-3 (NIV)
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
The star that heralded Jesus’ birth was not visible only in the east, but only those with eyes to see and hearts that were open to what God was doing could really understand the sign that He was giving to the world.
At the time of Herod, expectation of the coming of the Messiah was high, based on the timetable given in Daniel 9:24-25. The people were not only expecting the Messiah to appear soon, they were praying for His arrival.
Herod knew this, and guarded his throne ferociously. He was constantly on the lookout for any sign of the rise of the Messiah so that He could be cut off before He got a foothold. But Herod was looking for a man, a warrior who would march into Israel with His troops as the Great Deliverer. He wasn’t expecting the Messiah to come as a baby!
Because of Herod’s presuppositions, his eyes were blinded to what God was actually doing. He, the king of the Jews, could not see at all what these foreign Magi saw so clearly: God was beginning the process of bringing deliverance, salvation, to His people, and, through them, to the whole world.
Many, many people are blinded by their presuppositions and cannot see the truth that is so evident to others who have eyes to see. Many let the troubles going on right now so fill their vision that they cannot see God’s hand at work in these present events.
The blessing is that God can open eyes that have been blinded. He can clear minds that have become overwhelmed by all that is happening around them. He can help people find hope by showing them His star rising in the east, heralding His approach, His deliverance.
Father, it really is easy to get so caught up in what is going on that I cannot see You clearly. Open my eyes so that I can see all that You are doing. Help me not only to see, but to be able to show others as well, so that their hope and faith can be restored, too. Amen.