After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him….” Then Herod … sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. [Matthew 2:1-11, NIV]
In these verses, we find men with inquiring minds reaching out in search of the One who could bring peace and happiness to their lives. You might say these were early Gentile seminary students. These men started out on a long journey to find answers to the greatest subject in world history. This subject is just as great today, and those who seek the answer just as wise as these weary travelers from the east. Their wisdom was not in what they knew. The wisdom came through the search for this new King and the relationship they sought with him. Their search was for God Incarnate who came to earth to reveal to us how to relate to Jesus as God. These wise men asked the essential questions. Where is Christ? Who is Christ? How can I find Christ and have a relationship with him? Those who ask these questions and seek answers to these questions are wise, but true wisdom comes in the intimate relationship with Christ, placing no other before him.
While we find many truths in this passage, one truth worth noting is that these men were not Jews. They were not of God’s chosen race. They were gentiles, heathens from another land. Yet, they realized a great event had taken place. Prophecy was once again being fulfilled; for you see, from his birth, Jesus was rejected by his own culture. Scripture teaches us that Jesus came unto his own, but his own did not accept him. They did not receive him as their Savior and Lord.
These strangers recognized Jesus and desired to worship him. They traveled many long and difficult miles to bow down their weary bodies before this young toddler and humbly worship him. Great men of worldly wealth and knowledge, bowing before a toddler, what humility these men showed. They truly came to Jesus with childlike faith and worshiped him and the humblest of places.
Their faith reminds us of the faith the prophets of old had that one day God would send a Savior. It reminds us of the faith we must have in Jesus Christ as our own personal Savior if we are to have everlasting life. Without faith, we cannot please God. These wise men placed their faith in Jesus Christ, for a changed life and a new future. The Jewish scribes’ exampled apathy and they did not experience faith in Jesus, for they were too consumed in their own lives. Herod exampled self-centeredness and became obsessed with eradicating the world of Jesus, so that he would be remembered and worshiped. What does your life example?
Prayer: God, we recognize that you have the right to break into our lives, our plans and our dreams, and put us on a course of your own choosing. Lord, you know our hearts and our innermost thoughts. You know our fear of taking great risks with the only life you have given us. So, we ask for faith to allow you to include our lives in your larger plan. We ask for courage to walk in the way you design. We ask for assurance that your will is our best choice and our greatest fulfillment. In the name of our Savior, who gave his all on our behalf. Amen.