“Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea when Herod was king. After Jesus’ birth wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem. 2 They asked, “Where is the one who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star rising and have come to worship him.”-Matthew 2:1-2, GWT
Anyone who claims to be, and is, a Christ-follower, would naturally love and deeply appreciate the entire birth narrative of Jesus’ coming to planet earth, as one of us, on that first Christmas morning. I really can’t imagine, and don’t want to think it possible, that a sincere Christian would not rejoice and fall to their knees over “God with us,” “Immanuel.” It is revelation and truth of our great and awesome God giving His very best while we were at our very worst. What provision! What hope! What a marvelous God He is!
I have come to really appreciate the record above, that speaks to the arrival of the “magi” or “wise men from the east.” I realize that their timing on the scene has been examined, and some have even suggested it could have been 2 years after Jesus’ birth. But that is not what’s important to me. Also, the number of wise men has been historically represented by 3, which seems to capture 1 for each of the 3 gifts they brought: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. While the Christ-child was no doubt deserving of our very best, and these gifts capture honoring Him as King – what stands out to me, by far, is the motivation of these wise men in coming. In making a long journey. In seeking truth.
Consider this: They were the top of the top in their position, social status, wealth, and education. They would effectively have been in the top 1-2% of the population of their day. Yet, in realizing what had happened and what God had done on that first Christmas, they left everything behind – their comfort, their riches, their way of life, to go and “worship him.”
Get this: The wise men knew and believed something incredible and miraculous had occurred. Something that couldn’t be explained away or minimized. Notice that they didn’t go to “verify” or “conduct their own “litmus tests.” They didn’t go to try and prove that it didn’t happen, or to try and undermine it in any way. The Word states that they went “to worship him.”
I pray that we, like the wise men, will seek to worship HIM this Advent and Christmas Season. In all that we do, in all that we say, in all of our planning and execution. Let us not lose perspective of what this is all about. Let’s not fail in beholding the Christ-child, Who came to take away the sin of the world. It started in the manger and continued all the way to, and through, the Cross. A few questions here: Who or what are you following? Is it time for a course correction? Has the other “things” in your life let you down?
How about following His star with the same ambition, heart, and motivation that the wise men demonstrated? The wise still seek Him. He is accessible. He is available. Call on His Name this Christmas! Let’s worship Him!