Have you ever wondered why the Magi stopped in Jerusalem and speak to Herod when they were looking for Jesus? It struck me as odd that they would stop and ask for Jesus in Jerusalem (Matt. 2:1-2). After all, wasn’t the star leading them? Couldn’t the star lead them to where Jesus was residing with his parents?
The Magi had their gaze on the star until they reached Jerusalem. But once they reached Jerusalem, they took their eyes off the star and began to ask for they child. They thought they reached their destination.
Whey did they stop there? Where would they expect to find a king who was born? In a palace, of course! At least that what they thought. Jerusalem had a palace and king…King Herod. So naturally a king who was born would be born in a palace, in a kingdom, to a royal family….
But that was the furthest from the truth! Jesus was not born in a palace but a stable. He was not born into royalty but to peasant parents. He wasn’t born in a kingdom but an Inn. It wasn’t anything they expected or imagined. When they left Jerusalem, the star brought them to the place where Jesus and his parents lived (Matt.2:9-11).
They really didn’t need to stop in Jerusalem, they could’ve continued to follow the star and it would’ve taken them straight to Jesus. But they expected a king to be born in a palace to a king.
Their expectation led them away from God’s path.
What about you and me? Do we let our expectations and circumstances take us off the path God has for us? Do our expectations take our gaze off God and place them on our surroundings that make sense to us?
I wonder what would’ve happened if the Magi just continued to follow the star. The bible tells us when Herod heard that another king born, he was disturbed and so was Jerusalem (Matt. 2:3). He told the Magi to find the boy so he can kill him. When the Magi did not return to Herod, he decided to kill every child that was two years old or younger (Matt. 2:16-18).
In God’s sovereign will, He allowed the atrocity to happen against these kids. and in His power, He protected Jesus from a premature death.
Our expectations may not produce a drastic outcome such as the story found in Matthew. But what have we forfeited in blessing, ministry or opportunities because we followed the “expected”, rather than giving room in our lives for the “unexpected.”
In my life, I never expected to go to seminary…I never expected to be called in ministry….I never expected so many things in my life. There were times when I followed the “expected” rather than the “unexpected.” I’ve learned that when opportunities come my way, rather than seeking to make sense of them, go to the Lord and ask…
- Lord, is this of you?
- Lord, how would You have me respond?
- Lord, what is the next step I’m to take?
I found that when I do that, I leave room for God to work the “unexpected” in my life. Even when the unexpected is hard or confusing. Let God do the unexpected in your life to bring about His Glory and your ultimate good!