Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Give Homage to the King of Kings

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

26th December 2010

What is the significance of the Magi coming to worship Jesus, and why did they bring treasures to Him? Both the Old and New Testament give us some pointers.

Isaiah 49, a prophecy about the restoration of Israel after the captivity, begins to focus on the image of the “Servant of the LORD”, who is ultimately the Messiah. According to Isaiah 49 the “Servant” not only will restore the fortunes of Israel but will also be a light to the nations, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth (v.6), a prophecy that Simeon saw fulfilled in Jesus (Luke 2:25-32). Isaiah then adds, ‘This is what the LORD says— the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel— to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you’. (Isaiah 49:7)

The idea of homage from the nations is repeated in verse 23, ‘Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed’.

The complete fulfilment of these predictions of the homage of kings and princes to the Servant of the LORD will, no doubt, be at the end of the age. But with the arrival of the Magi at the first coming of Jesus, there was a preview of that ultimate homage. Their worship made it clear that Jesus was the one to whom this adoration and homage would ultimately come.

Isaiah 60 also predicts how in the Messianic Age the glory of the LORD will arise and cover the land. We are told,

‘Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn…the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come’. (Isaiah 60 3,5)

The gifts of the Magi probably are a foretaste of that great homage to come at the end of the age, showing that this child is the one to whom all homage is due.

There is also a great deal on the theme of homage to Jesus in the New Testament.

Philippians 2:9-11 immediately comes to mind:

‘Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’.

There could hardly be a more comprehensive statement about the future homage to be paid to Christ.

Then in the Book of Revelation we read:

‘the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”’ (Revelation 4:10-11)

‘…And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped’. (Revelation 5:9-14).

So what the Magi do here is a little preview of what everyone will do in the future, bow before Him as Lord and King.

In view of this, the psalmist advises:

‘Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.’ (Psalm 2:10-12).

Kissing the Son is the way one would bow and do homage to a king; it would indicate submission to the kingship of this Son, whom we know to be Jesus the Messiah. Those who are wise [Wise men and women], the psalmist says, will do that before the Son, this Messiah, comes to judge the world.

The story of the Magi fits into an important part of the plan of God. It gives a little picture of what is yet to happen; but it also instructs people to submit to Christ now as the wise men did in paying homage to him.

Have a good week giving homage to the King of kings.

Pastor Barry

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