After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star at its rising and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2 CSB)
Jesus was born in fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures. He was the Jewish King, the Son of David.
And yet, wise men from the east showed up to worship Him. People who were not Jewish wanted to embrace Him as King.
This is a powerful picture of the gospel.
Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. The gospel is for the Jew first. But Jesus also came to be the King of all peoples. His Kingdom transcends cultural, national, and ethnic boundaries. It’s a home and family for all the peoples of the earth.
Jesus’ Kingdom is a place where unity and diversity are both true and important.
Intuitively, this is what our hearts want.
We want to stand out. We want to be known for something. We want to be recognized as an individual. (Diversity)
Yet, we also want to fit in. We want to be included. We want a band of brothers. We want a crew. (Unity)
In Jesus, we get both.
At the cross, there is no distinction. All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. All are justified freely by His grace. All individuals who are saved become part of the universal, collective household of God.
At the same time, the cross does not erase our differences. God still knows our name. He still relates to us individually. The glory and honor of the nations is still remembered. The Spirit gifts us each uniquely.
These two realities empower us to respect each other’s differences. They free us to pursue our unique passions. They protect us from thinking too highly of ourselves. They prevent us from elevating ourselves above others. They make us look more like our wonderfully mysterious Triune God.
Jesus is the King for wise men from the east. He’s also the King for wise men from the north, south, and west. Every truly wise man and woman makes the same journey… to worship at Jesus’ feet.