Advent: The Journey to Christmas, Day 22

God’s Heart For The Whole World

Magi were known to be astrologers, which explains why God used a star to guide them to Jesus. He knew how He could get their attention. As astrologers, it’s very possible the Wise Men we include in our nativities at Christmas were sorcerers who interpreted omens and signs to gain power. There are many theories about the ethnicity and background of these men from the East, but there’s one thing we know for sure: They were not Jews. They were Gentiles.

For centuries, people assumed the Savior would come specifically to deliver the Jews, God’s chosen people. It’s a reasonable assumption, because they were constantly persecuted by surrounding Gentile nations who worshipped false gods. If the One True God was coming to earth to establish His eternal Kingdom, surely it was for the sake of the Jews.

But when God reveals the significance of Jesus’ birth to the Magi, we get our first tangible glimpse of His desire to reconcile with the entire world, no matter our background or depth of depravity. This is an important moment, especially for those who are not of Jewish descent. While Jesus was born with a pure Jewish lineage and certainly came to redeem the ones He’d chosen from the start, He also came to bring all people back into relationship with their Creator.

In Acts 15, the apostle Paul acknowledges that the Holy Spirit no longer distinguishes between Jews and Gentiles. Anyone who has faith in Jesus has become a chosen child of God. Paul goes further in Colossians 3, saying, “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Jesus made it clear in the Great Commission that He desired all nations to know Him. His heart is for the world!

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for coming to save a world that disowned You for so long. Thank You for wanting a relationship with me when I was completely unrighteous and separated from You. I know You love the entire world, and I want to be Your hands and feet continuing to reach out to those far from You. Use me to carry Your love to the nations.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star at its rising and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Christ would be born.
“In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him, “because this is what was written by the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah:
Because out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them the exact time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find him, report back to me so that I too can go and worship him.”
After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was — the star they had seen at its rising. It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overwhelmed with joy. Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by another route.

Matthew 2:1-12 CSB

After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: “Brothers and sisters, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.

Acts 15:7-9 CSB

In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.

Colossians 3:11 CSB

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