Journal Matt 2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)


Scripture: “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying,

‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. [and] Assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, [Herod] inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

They (the priests and the scribes) told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel…’ (c. Micah 5:2)’”

Observation: How big was this development in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ birth? If I slow down and read this, it was big news…at least bottom fold on the front page or Op-Ed conspiracy theory stuff…


Application: Slowing down and reading, trusting the Holy Spirit to fill in some possible gaps, allowing me to imagine the situation is muy interesting. I know I must be careful and not take it too far…but if I can have confidence in the translations, then maybe…just maybe…I can point out to myself what the text says and what it implies as well.

  1. Wise men came from the east. Where? It doesn’t say here. But it was far enough to have an alternate way to get home. (c. Matt 2:12) Maybe it was tantamount like, “Avoid I4, go South I75 and cut east on SR70…”
  2. This got me today: the Wise Men gave Herod some anxiety announcing the King of the Jews was born. The text implies that Herod didn’t even know that the Event was coming or even occurred; Herod appears to be blindsided.
  3. No matter how I have heard the story before, it wasn’t just Herod who got weirded out, it was all of Jerusalem as well: “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” (Matt 2:3)

This is an example of trying to fill in the back story, so that the progressing story has some meat and bones to it, but even in utilizing the imagination the Holy Spirit provides, the default is always to the Word of God.

Here are some questions that have my attention. Note that these questions don’t require any immediate answer, they exist to demonstrate the Supremacy of God in history:

  1. Why were these three wise men investigating the skies?
  2. How did the Wise Men conclude the “Star” was about the Messiah of Israel?
  3. Why did this catch Herod and his cabinet by surprise? Was no one else studying for the appearance of the Birth?
  4. Why was Jerusalem troubled? Was this something on the gossip back burner in the City?

And these are only a few of the questions that are evident from the passage I chose. It could be that the rumblings of troubled thoughts led to the extreme decision of Herod to invoke the response of Pharoah back in Moses’ day: Infanticide of newborn males. (Matt 2:16 and cf. Jer 31:15) While Herod’s decision is abhorrent, it served the purpose of God in fulfilling prophecy.

What is the conclusion, then? I don’t have any conclusions other than I have more to wonder about as I dig around in the scriptures further.

Happy hunting, folks. We are following in the footsteps and standing on the shoulders of the saints that have come before.


Prayer: Father, I was a good observation that you gave my wife this morning: Pray that our eyes might be opened. How often do I forget to pray specifically and to rely on You in reflex—not that You won’t answer and/or provide; it is just nice to ask and demonstrate dependence upon You.


Ricky Two Shoes