Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
We have seen his star in the East. God leads each one in his own way, but the way he chooses is the precisely appropriate way for each one. Simple shepherds, with Scripture associations, are led by angel-testimony and angel-song from the night-skies. Wise Magi, with the astrological associations, are led by the varying appearances of planets and stars in the clear Eastern heavens. Angels, or stars, they do but fit to the differing needs of men. And so is suggested to us the important truth that, while God's saving dealings with men are always one, their forms are variously adapted to the condition and disposition and ability of each. And the exceeding grace of God is seen in that adaptation.
I. DIVINE LEADINGS. Two things:
1. They are direct Divine operations. Whether we see the hand in them or not, the hand is there.
2. They employ instrumentalities; but, in the very simplicity and naturalness of them, we often miss the Divine working that is at the heart of them. It is easy to see nature-forces making conjunctions of stars to guide Magi, and miss seeing the Divine overrulings that make nature-forces work the Divine will. Whether it be shepherds, Magi, or pious Simeons, the Divine leading of men is to Christ their Saviour. What God is doing with men is bringing them to Jesus.
II. THE INDIVIDUALITY OF DIVINE LEADINGS. No one else was led just as the shepherds were, and none just as the Magi were. God knows each one, reckons for each one, and deals with each one. There is no being lost in a crowd. There is no fear of unskilful dealing because our case is not precisely understood. We come into the world one by one; we go out one by one; and all the while we are in the world we are simple units before God. Illustrate this individuality of Divine dealings from Bible cases of conversion, such as
(2) Manasseh the king;
(4) the Woman of Samaria;
(6) Eunuch of Queen Candace;
(8) Jailor at Philippi.
Each a typical, perhaps, but certainly an individual, case.
III. THE GRACE OF THE INDIVIDUALITY OF DIVINE LEADINGS. It secures fittings and fitness. In each of the above cases show how precise the adaptation was. Show the grace which is always displayed in having things to fit. Show that the grace is proved by the tender consideration for the individual which such adaptation involves. Appeal to our experience of grace adapted to us. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.