Faith Steps

Written on 04/25/2024
Christian Dunn

Verse: Matthew 2:9-10

9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

Anyone else's brain say "Merry Christmas!"? Just me? It's interesting to read the story of Jesus' birth and really dig into every detail of it outside of the context of Christmas. It makes me think about each and every verse in a critical, analytical way I never have before and I hope it's doing the same for you.

In case you missed yesterday's devotion, we're picking up with the wise men going to find baby Jesus. King Herod has deceitfully told them to go find them to go find him so that he may also worship him, though his true intentions are to kill him. We pick up with the wise men on their journey to find Jesus.

We open with a supernatural phenomenon, a star sent by the Lord to guide their steps. Scholars have differing interpretations about the specifics of the star. Was it visible by day, or did they just journey by night? Was it in the sky over the town of Bethlehem, or was it hovering low to the ground exactly where Jesus was? Was it so bright that it was unmistakable? There's a lot of uncertain details. However, all scholars agree, the star was a supernatural occurrence that was clear to the wise men as a sign that they knew and faithfully followed, leading them to Jesus. Do any details really matter beyond that, when we get down to it?

It's noteworthy that they paused in the story here to make a statement about their emotional state. The wise men were filled with joy. They don't only feel validated in their journey, but feel hope and assurance that their Messiah promised by scripture has come to save their people.

Let's pause here in our story. Here's where I actually pause to think about it more critically than ever before. Can you imagine being summoned, being told to find a baby, following a star, trusting it will get you there, then being like yeah... this baby is definitely the Savior of the world? It's actually a wild story when you think about it. First, look at the way God used Herod's hatred and ill intent for His good. Herod meant the wise men to find Jesus so Herod could kill Him. Instead, the Lord used this journey to grow the wise men's faith. They had a supernatural experience by following the star they had to trust God with and follow. Then, they experienced the supernatural joy and awe of realizing they are coming face to face with their Savor, the messiah their scriptures have promised. It's crazy to pause and sit with how much faith this required, the way God used it, and the way He used the end of the journey to bring them joy and affirm their faith.

I wonder what this looks like in our lives. Is there a path, a step, a journey the Lord is nudging us to take in faith? Have we been resisting, or following His guidance in faith? Is He trying to use something in this fallen, dark, broken world for our good? Are we getting in our own way of letting Him use it to strengthen our faith and bring us joy? Spend some time with it today, friend.

Lord, help me to sit with this today. Thank you for allowing me the time to think about Your Word critically and how it applies to my life today. Are you nudging me to take any steps in faith with you? Lord, help me to not get in the way of how You're trying to use me. I know You see a big picture that I can never see. You can use broken things for my good, to strengthen my faith and renew my joy. Please guide my steps and help me to see how You want to use me, and give me the strength to step out in faith. We love you Lord. Amen

Guest Author: Becca Artymenko