RICH AND POOR [wise men/shepherds].
Now, before all the theologically minded jump on me for getting the timing wrong here, yes I know the shepherds and the wise men wouldn’t have been there at the same time. I’m just looking at a principle worth noting! 🙂
When you look at all the people involved around the incarnation of Christ, they generally fall in to 2 categories: the rich and the poor, [likewise at Calvary]! But not all the poor acknowledged Christ and not all the rich rejected Him! It is a heart matter. You can be poor or rich and be hard hearted towards Christ or poor or rich and be open hearted towards Him! The Shepherds were not only humble men but their hearts were humble and open to God. But not all the Shepherds of that day were humble and open, just as not all ordinary folk of today are humble and open to God! And likewise with the wise men. There would’ve been more than 3 men on that journey and most would probably be rich! But only 3 are mentioned because only 3 gifts [that we know of] were given!
However, it is well worth noting that poor, despised, rejected and unworthy Shepherds received the good news of Christ and worshipped Him with all their hearts, and so too did at least 3 wise [wealthy] astronomers.
On the other hand Herod would’ve been rich, so too the scribes and teachers of the law in Jerusalem, but none of those humbled themselves and worshipped Christ. And generally when Christ was in His final days on earth, many of the poor He had helped rejected Him and even joined the crowd to cry “crucify Him!” It’s notable too that in our modern day, there are many rich folk who acknowledge and worship Christ and many who reject Him. And many poor folk who either accept Him and worship Him or reject Him! It’s a heart matter. So, whether you are a humble manual worker, it’s about your heart not your low income! Or if you are a wealthy businessman, likewise, it’s about the heart not the bottom line.
PRAYER heavenly father God. I thank you for the lessons taught by the shepherds and wise men, that it’s not about a full or empty wallet, and neither is it about high or lowly status! It’s a matter of the heart and at the heart of the matter IS the human heart! Lord Jesus I also know that a heart that once was soft to you can also grow hard and cold just like soft soil that’s trampled upon and battered by storms can become hard; let not my heart become hard to you no matter how much or how little money I have or how many times my heart is trampled on nor how many storms I have to weather. I ask this in the name of Jesus amen.
1. In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.
2. Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
3. Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.
4. What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.