In Matthew 2, magi from the East show themselves greatly graced by God. They have received …
- General revelation by means of God’s creation. (Psalm 19 – The heavens and earth declare God’s glory.)
- General revelation by means of their God-given consciences. (Romans 2 – God had written on their hearts.)
- Special revelation by means of God’s prophets. (Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah had preached in their region.)
- Special revelation by means of God’s special star, constellation, comet, light, or angelic messenger.
- Special revelation by means of God’s Word. (Scribes in Jerusalem told of the prophecies of Bethlehem.)
- Special regeneration by means of God’s Spirit. (They were internally compelled to seek and sacrifice.)
- Special revelation by means of their God-given dream. (They were instructed not to return to Herod.)
How privileged were these men to have been specially loved by God.
How privileged were these men to have received both common and special grace.
How privileged were these men to have been given eyes to see and ears to hear.
How privileged were these men to have been given the twin gifts of repentance and faith.
How privileged were these men to display the spiritual fruit they received. (I.e. Love, Joy, Faithfulness, etc …)
How privileged were these non-Hebrew foreigners to have been called to God’s international, multi-ethnic, cross-cultural congregation.
To my friends …
Let us be more thankful. How happy and grateful ought we to be as we find strange faith and a desire for repentance coming from within.
Let us be more humble. Let us consider our totally deprave and dead condition. Let us recall our impotent state. Who gets the credit for our salvific response? Friends, let us be humble and laud the sentiments expressed in verses 3 and 4 of the hymn below:
How sweet and awesome is the place
with Christ within the doors,
while everlasting love displays
the choicest of her stores.
While all our hearts and all our songs
join to admire the feast,
each of us cries, with thankful tongue,
“Lord, why was I a guest?
“Why was I made to hear your voice,
and enter while there’s room,
when thousands make a wretched choice,
and rather starve than come?”
Twas the same love that spread the feast
that sweetly drew us in;
else we had still refused to taste,
and perished in our sin.
Pity the nations, O our God,
constrain the earth to come;
send your victorious Word abroad,
and bring the strangers home.
We long to see your churches full,
that all the chosen race
may, with one voice and heart and soul,
sing your redeeming grace.
Let us be more obedient, quick, radical, ambitious, expensive, and affectionate in our worship. Hear the Gospel with fresh ears, and watch how God’s love wells up in your heart. Now, do what you desire? Get on your Gospel camel, grab your God-gifted gold, silver, and frankincense, spend your energy and time, obey God’s ongoing instruction, and go worship your Lord, Savior, Best of Friends, and Greatest Lover.
Let us be more expectant and eager to enjoy international, multi-ethnic, and cross-cultural assemblies. Jesus will have worshipers from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. He started collecting such as a toddler. He continued throughout his life and through his Apostles. The Lord of the Church continues to color his community today. “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.” Let’s enjoy being a part of the eclectic elect today.