In chapter 2 we read about the Magi coming from the East to see baby Jesus, and consequently Joseph, Mary, and the baby having to flee the country. There are two things that really hit me about this passage: the fact that God trusted humans with a gift so precious, and the meaningless question of “What if?”
Have you ever thought about how crazy it is that God came as a baby, the most helpless form of humanity? The God of the Universe in human form, entrusted to the care of 16 and 13 year olds. I don’t know about you, but teenagers…eh…enough said. Also, the Magi’s coming alerted the entire city of Jerusalem and put its rulers on edge, yet God still honored their journey and allowed them to see the Christ child. They could have chosen to ignore the dream and go back to Herod, putting the child in even more danger. Yet God still trusted them enough to allow them to see the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
And what if? What if the Magi never made the journey? Maybe Herod would never have known about Jesus. Maybe Messiah could have grown up having a normal childhood in Bethlehem. Even moreso, the other children that were killed on His behalf once Herod realized he’d been outwitted would have lived and grown up like they should have been able to. Why would a loving God allow something so horrific just for the sake of a few wise guys getting to see baby Jesus? Maybe this leads us to the crazy question: why would God send His Son into the world to begin with? To whom was His Son a gift?
It always amazes me that the two people groups that were invited to Jesus’ birth were the shepherds and the Magi. From the lowest of society to the most respected, His coming was for everyone. Perhaps it was Herod who was entrusted with the knowledge of Jesus’ birth. He came for Herod as well. Surely God would not give the ultimate gift of salvation and keep the recipients in the dark. He was in control of everything, and would keep His Son safe. And what about the children who lost their lives and the families who suffered? Well, the subject of suffering has been the ultimate question since the dawn of time. Our struggles and questions aren’t much different thousands of years later. However, the truth remains: God is not surprised and He is in control.
What has God entrusted to you? Will you be like the Magi, who journeyed hundreds of miles for one night with the Son of God, and valued the voice of God whom they had not seen over King Herod who posed a great threat? Or will you be like Herod, who heard the good news, yet felt threatened that someone more powerful than him had been born. He sought to destroy the very Giver of life. Stop looking back and asking “What if?” to all the things that have happened, and join with God in asking the question, “What next?”