I think there is a reason that quest is the first part of questions. As soon as a new inquiry is made or there is a problem to solve, I get excited, focused, and very stubborn. It is even better when there are other people to ask different questions, look at something from different angles, or carry an idea further.
Tonight I met with the group to go over Matthew 2 for our inductive study. It was a night of questions. Who were the wise men anyway? They remind me of Melchizedek in how they show up and then disappear.
What text did they have that inspired them to search out the King of the Jews. And then to have the nerve to show up at the palace of the King of Judea and ask for the real king. The pagan Wise Men received the location of the Jewish Messiah from the Jewish Scribes (wise men) who would not look for their own Savior!
Maybe the Magi had the Isaiah scroll. Why Isaiah? Isaiah 60 speaks of God breaking through darkness to bring light to all people (star, anyone?). The nations would bring the King gold and frankincense – sound familiar? It is the only Old Testament passage to use them together. It is also a passage looking for the Messiah.
Wait, there was a third gift! Well, flip back to Isaiah 53, the Suffering Servant passage as it is often called. The Savior of Israel would die for them. And myrrh was the main spice used to embalm people (see Jesus’ burial in John 19:39). It was also used in incense (Exodus 30) and other sweet-smelling mixtures. Incidentally, my pastor shared, gold, frankincense, and myrrh were hot commodities in Egypt at the time. God provided as the time came.
God provided. God showed up, moved, gave as much as was needed in the right time. That is one of the biggest things I learned from this passage. There is not too much or too little given too soon or too late. God times everything just right. And when people obey (like Joseph getting up from the dream and transplanting the family to Egypt), it is amazing what God sets into place.
Questions are good, and I am eager to keep studying Matthew, to see what themes are woven through it, and the clever messages that the author wove through the text. God just keeps getting bigger. What questions do you have? What are you studying? What is lurking under your nose just waiting to be discovered?
God, thank You for Your Word that can reveal so much in a passage I have heard every Christmas since I was a baby. But there is so much there that I never saw before! Thank You for the way You work in the right time, right place, and with the right people. Please help me to trust Your plan in my own life, and enjoy the journey. And please help me to keep asking questions! To Your glory, Amen.