Day 5
December 8

December 8, 2022 • Week Two

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 when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Matthew 2:1-2

Day 5

Rome had appointed Herod king over Judea. Herod loved praise, wealth, and power, calling for massive building projects throughout Israel and Palestine and often naming them after himself. He was a violent king who ruled by intimidation and fear and used his power to order the murder of many of the members of his family.

The Magi were accustomed to protocol in the presence of kings, and yet still asked him where the newborn “King of the Jews” was so they could worship him. This would have been alarming to Herod, who considered himself the king of the Jews.

After being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, the Magi defied his orders to return to tell him where they had found Jesus and departed from Bethlehem for their home by a different route.


  • The wise men, or Magi, experienced something - a star in the sky - that was a normal experience (stars are not rare), and yet, they also saw something very different in this star. That is often how God works, taking the ordinary things of life and then surprising us with something special in their midst. How might you take the normal traditions of this Christmas season and more intentionally look for what Jesus has for you in them?
  • Herod was unwilling to give up his power or control, even to God. Do you also find yourself holding on to power, control, or the environment around you? What would it look like for you to trust God more and give up control over those things?
  • Herod and the Magi provide two common attitudes towards worship. Herod arranged his priorities so he could be the source of worship, while the Magi were looking for something to worship. As we make room for Jesus during Advent, what does your daily/weekly schedule say about what you value? If your schedule does not line up with what you say you value most, what is one step you can take to help them match up?