Day 21

December 18

December 18

Matthew 2:1-11

1"In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

Enlightened by the Presence of Jesus

by Lakia M. Scott, Ph.D.

Matthew 2:1-11 is perhaps one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. The passage tells of when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. During this time, King Herod sent the three wise men to investigate where the Messiah was to be born. Being led by the star and upon their arrival, they were overwhelmed with joy for they saw the child with Mary and knelt to pay homage. They offered him gifts and ultimately did not return to the kingdom of Herod.

This passage is particularly insightful for the many lessons we learn through deeper analysis. First, we can see that God is in complete control of our lives and presents his wisdom in many forms. The wise men are guided by the star. I am reminded that through times of challenge, God is ever present and his light shines through things that are simple, pure, and of love. I also resonate with the passage in knowing that though sometimes we grow doubtful and seek insight from others, ultimately, it is the Lord that directs our path forward, and we should be diligent and courageous enough to follow.

God provides warning to the wise men about their journey in a dream – and ultimately, they take heed and decide after seeing baby Jesus that they will go to another land and country, apart from the kingdom of Herod. Similarly, we must recognize moments in our lives that are not of God and be stewards in listening to his voice and direction.

Finally, I am reminded that when Christ was born, he was heralded as King of the Jews, but through further reading, the scripture proclaims that Jesus is for all, not just for some. His birth and titleship symbolizes how the presence of God moves in our lives for all, not just for believers. The wise men were enlightened by the presence of Jesus, so much so that they brought him treasures of the land. In this regard, we see that an experience with Christ is a blessing and a treasure that we should hold sacred.

We should see our walk with Him as a journey through understanding His love for us, and our purpose in serving Him.

Learn More About Our Guest Writer

Lakia M. Scott, Ph.D.Lakia M. Scott, Ph.D.

Lakia M. Scott, Ph.D., is a recognized scholar in the field of Urban Education. An assistant professor in curriculum and instruction within Baylor’s School of Education, Dr. Scott came to Baylor in 2014 an expert in literacy, urban education, and in the social, cultural, and political influences on educational practices and schooling. She is also director of the School’s graduate program.

Under the research trajectory of providing educational access, equity, and opportunity for traditionally minoritized student populations, Dr. Scott is most widely known for her creation and implementation in 2017 of the Baylor Freedom Schools program, a summer literacy enrichment initiative in partnership with Waco ISD Transformation Zone Schools and Prosper Waco. She is also the director of the Baylor in Ghana Mission Trip, and she has led the School of Education’s Spring Break study-abroad trip to Queretaro, Mexico, through the Carpenter Embedded Global Classroom.