It is the Magi who have introduced the term 'worship' into this particular encounter. Back in vs 2, as they entered the city of Jerusalem, they enquired where the new young King was, so that they might worship him. From the vantage point of verse 12 and looking back this is what we know; The Magi, having worshipped the baby King and presented him with precious gifts, are warned in a dream not to disclose to Herod the exact location of the Boy King. We do not know when the Magi had the dream, but they heeded the warning as vs 12 shows. The boy King was exactly where he was said to be and the star located the home. King Herod was 'hell bent' on removing this threat to his throne, but human intervention was not going to stand in the way of Gods redemptive plan. In a most significant twist, this global redemptive plan of God was put into a higher orbit as these foreign dignitaries first located, then worshiped the new born saviour of the world, and their obedience to the one who spoke to them in a dream, secured both the appropriate worship given Jesus and security from a sadistic puppet king.
As we look back over the encounter that the Magi had with Herod and then their encounter with Jesus and his family, we see two expressions of worship - one by the Magi and one by Herod. It becomes clear that Herod's idea of worshipping the Boy King was significantly different to the Magi. None the less, expressions of intent to worship abound, even today, and these expressions sometimes materialise in honest genuine worship involving a posture of submission while others expression of worship has a more sinister undercurrent. A contemporary worship song expresses worship this way, "I bow my knee before your throne I know my life is not my own I offer up a song of praise to bring you pleasure Lord... I seek the giver not the gift, my hearts desire is to lift you high above all earthly thrones, to bring you pleasure Lord." these words synch well with the intent of the Magi, while the hollow gesture of Herod issues in violence and mayhem, as tomorrows devotion will show. What does your worship of Jesus the King, look like? What precious gifts of humble submission do you bring to him today?