And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod,
they returned to their country by another route.
Matthew 2:12 (NIV)
The Magi had been told by King Herod to report back to him the location of the child born to be the King of the Jews. He told them the reason he wanted to know the location was so he could also go and worship Him.
The real reason Herod wanted to have the exact location of the child was so he could send soldiers to kill the young child Who was an alleged rival for his throne.
The Magi went on their way from Jerusalem and found the house where the young family was now living. They undoubtedly had lengthy conversations with the parents about seeing the new star, how long ago it first appeared, detail of their long journey, the interview with King Herod in Jerusalem and so on.
These visitors then worshipped the child and made the presentation of their costly gifts. But the night before they started back to Jerusalem to report to Herod, they had a dream and were warned not to return to Herod but take another route back home.
The men obeyed the warning, and it meant much to ensure the safety of Jesus. Herod no doubt calculated the number of days needed to get to Bethlehem, have a visit and return to him with the information he desperately wanted.
When the time expired and Herod realized that he was not going to get the needed information, he was enraged. He sent the soldiers with orders to murder all young boys two years old and younger.
The fact the Magi obeyed the Lord gave time for the flight into Egypt to take place without a mistake. It must have been several days after Mary and Joseph left with Jesus before the soldiers arrived. So the child was kept safe because the Magi obeyed the Lord.
The worth of obedience to the Lord cannot be overstated. If it costs us to obey the Lord, we may be certain that the cost of disobedience is much higher. The Magi had an apparently insignificant role to play and yet it was very necessary for them to follow through and do their part in the redemptive work of the Lord.
You may believe you are a minor player in the work of the Lord, but all of us need to do our assigned role as the eternal plan of salvation is being accomplished. Never doubt your worth to the Lord and His people because you are not on centre stage in the drama of life.
All of us have our part to play and shall be rewarded for obedience, not for the size or significance of our work for the Lord.