Hope comes from unexpected places.
After the journey to Judea, the birth of the child in a stable, Mary and Joseph take their baby to the temple.
Simeons words still echo in Mary’s mind,
“This child will cause many to rise and fall, many will oppose him, he will reveal the secret thoughts of many, and a sword will pierce even your own soul Mary”.
Not exactly encouraging words, spoken by someone you don’t know, who knows your name.
Really a little spooky.
But then there have been many unusual things surrounding the birth of this precious child.
Sometime later expected guests appear at their door.
Not just any guests.
These guests are obviously royalty, distinguished foreigners, evidenced by the great company traveling with them, and the gifts they bring.
The biblical account in Matthew 2:11 records these words
” and as soon as the wise men arrived, they saw Him with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. They unpacked their satchels and gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. – Matthew 2:11
They had traveled a great distance following a star to honor a king, remarkable for two reasons:
It is strange for a baby to be born king, usually they are princes a long time before they are kings*
In those days Jews were viewed with contempt, looked down on as a troublesome and conquered race.**
But these men came to worship a baby, born as King of the Jews.
The gifts they gave were exceptionally good gifts.
Gold that is given to kings
Incense given to priests
Myrrh used to heal.
Mary and Josephs son would be all these things.
King, priest, healer.
The Bible does not record Mary and Josephs reaction to these events.
We know that shortly after they would flee to Egypt to protect the child.
But I can’t help but think that these unexpected events gave Joseph and Mary a glimpse of God’s hand in their circumstances, and hope in the days ahead.
Whatever situation you might need hope for today, the same God who provided hope for Joseph and Mary, can do the same for you.
It might come in a way you do not expect….
*Commentary by Charles Spurgeon
**Commentary by D.A. Carson