King Herod and the Wise Men (Matthew 2:1-12)

Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, during the reign of King Herod.

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Wise men from the East went to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?” (ESV)

The wise men had spotted the star proclaiming the birth of Jesus and wanted to worship the new born King.

In some translations, the wise men are also referred to as Magi, which was the name for Zoroastrian priests.  The word could also mean astrologers.  (source:  Dictionary.com)

King Herod was upset by what the wise men were saying.  He called the chief of priests and the scribes to ask where Christ was to be born.  They told him Christ was to be born in Bethlehem of Judea, as the prophet foretold:  “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”  (ESV)

This passage shows King Herod didn’t take time to study the scriptures and had no desire to even try to learn from the scriptures.  He didn’t know where Christ was to be born.  Instead of reading the scriptures to discover the answer, he asked other people to tell him what the scriptures said about the birth of Jesus.

Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem and told them, “Go and search diligently for the child and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” (ESV)

Of course, Herod was lying to the wise men.  He actually wanted to find the child and have him killed.

The wise men continued their journey and found Jesus Christ.  They immediately started worshipping Jesus and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense (a gum resin obtained from an African tree and burned as incense), and myrrh (a fragrant gum resign obtained from certain trees in the near east used in perfumery, medicines, and incense).  (source:  Dictionary.com)

The wise men were warned in a dream to not return to Herod, so they went home another way.

Genealogy and Promises (Matthew 1:1-17)

The Gospel of Matthew starts by giving the genealogy of Jesus Christ:  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Perez, Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, King David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asaph, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amos, Josiah, Jechoniah, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zakok, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

Why was this genealogy important?  It proves God kept his promise to bring a savior, which means God is trustworthy.

In 1 Chronicles 17:11-14, the prophet Nathan told King David, he will have a descendent that will build a house, establish his kingdom, and his thrown which will last forever.

In Psalms 89, God made a covenant with David to establish an offspring forever and build a throne for all generations.

Isaiah 9:6-7 states, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given:  and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.” (ESV)

Isaiah 11:1: tells us, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” (ESV)

In Jeremiah 33:15 we learn, “In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” (ESV)

Zachariah 6:12 also tells us, “Behold the man whose name is the Branch:  for he shall branch out from his place and he shall build the temple of the Lord.” (ESV)

According to Psalms 132:17, “There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.” (ESV)

Also, Jeremiah 23:5-6 proclaims, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.  In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely.  And this is the name by which he will be called:  The Lord is our Righteousness.” (ESV)

In several passages, Jesus is referred to as a branch.  I was wondering why, so I went to Dictionary.Com to get a thorough definition.

Branch can mean several things:  a part of a tree that grows out from the trunk, a lateral extension, or a divergence from the main path which leads to a new direction.

I think Jesus was called a branch because:

  • Jesus is the extension from God to us.
  • Jesus created a divergence which changed the path for us all.
  • Jesus is leading us in a new direction.

TECH Zombies (A Sci-Fi Zombie Story)

I posted this story almost a year ago and I have gained a lot of followers since that time.  I thought I would share it again and I hope everyone enjoys it.

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I’m Adam Link and I was born in 2124.  At the time of my birth, the government was conducting experiments to create a superhuman race.  Everyone was lining up to receive the cognitive enhancement brain implant.

This implant enhanced human cognitive abilities, increased longevity, and regulated bodily systems (for example:  the chip would send a notification if your blood pressure was high).  Those who received the implant, were known as TECH Humans.

My parents were a part of a small group known as the Purist.  They believed the human race should remain pure (without technological enhancements).  When I was born, they refused to allow the doctors to give me the implant.

Everyone thought my parents were crazy.  How would I survive in a world full of TECH humans?  How will I ever become a successful or productive member of society?  Basically, everyone believed the best I could hope for was to become a janitor.

Twenty years later, a routine upgrade was being done on all TECH humans.  However, something went terribly wrong.  The chip started killing their physical bodies, but the chip also remained functioning.  Dead people were walking around, without a conscious and reduced to their base animalistic nature.  This was the beginning of the TECH Zombie War.

Purist from all over the nation gathered together and tried to devise a plan to deal with the situation.  TECH Zombies were killing everything in their path and it looked like the human race was about to face extinction.

It was a horrible time.  We went scrounging for food or supplies, but many of us were killed in the process.  Hope was failing fast.

The only way of stoping the TECH Zombies was to destroy the chip.  I realized our only hope of survival was to create a virus that could destroy all the chips at the same time.  However, the main upgrade system was in the heart of the city.  To get to the building we would have to fight our way through a hoard of TECH Zombies.

My parents had put a lot of effort into my education, so I was able to create the virus.  Every Purist that was able to fight willingly joined the crusade.  We used every weapon that was available to us and created armor out of scape metal to protect us during the battle.

The fighting was fierce and it took several hours to get to the upgrade center.  Finally we made into the building.  We had to use a makeshift explosive to get into the main hall.  A lot of people died to get us this far, but we never thought about stoping our mission.

I uploaded my virus into the system and prayed for a miracle.  I was looking out the window at the TECH Zombies and all of a sudden they started thrashing about and then they all collapsed into a heap.

I was screaming, “It worked.  It worked.”  The human race will be saved and now we can start rebuilding.

To all the people that thought I would grow up to become a janitor, in a way they are correct.  The TECH Humans left a mess that I will be in charge of cleaning.  However, I am not just a janitor.  I am also the savor of the plant.  I am Adam Link, the hope for future generations of humans.