S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”
Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” Matthew 2:1–8 NLT
Sermon Insights: From far all the way to the feet of Jesus, the Magi made a journey that God has opened to all.
Sometimes “good news” is troubling to those whose power, control, or comfort is threatened. How are you dealing with surprises in your life?
If it walks like a duck…if Herod had genuinely wanted to worship with the wise men, don’t you think he would have gone with them, helped them search carefully, and presented gifts as well? How about you—are YOU living with a clean conscience?
Lord, I understand that a clean conscience is a genuine gift from you. Help me be honest with myself, you, and someone I trust so that I can receive that gift that Jesus came into the world to give.