Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Wise Seek Faith in Jesus Christ – Part Two

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. [Matthew 2:12-16, NIV]

Scripture simply tells us that an unnumbered group of wise men came to see and worship Jesus in the house Mary and Joseph obtained in area of Bethlehem. No distinct timeline is given, but we can be certain the visit took place in the first two years of the life of Jesus, for Herod commanded all male children under the age of two be massacred. The wise men received guidance from God. He gave them a star to guide them.

No one knows exactly what these wise men saw, but there are at least two natural possibilities, not to mention the supernatural possibilities. We know Jesus was born between 8 and 4 B.C., for Herod died in 4 B.C. Therefore, we are looking for extraordinary or supernatural astronomical phenomenon that occurred during this short period of history, and there were two such events. In 7 B.C., there was a brilliant conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, and while some scholars believe this is a possibility, I consider it doubtful. In each of the years, 5, 4, 3, and 2 B.C. there is recorded an unusual astronomical phenomenon. In each of those years, on the first day of the Egyptian month, Mesori, Sirius, the Dog Star, rose at sunrise, and shone with extraordinary brilliance. The name “Mesori” means “birth of a prince,” and to the ancient astrologer, such a star would undoubtedly mean the birth of some great king. Whatever the star they saw, we can be sure that some heavenly brilliance spoke to them of the entrance of a king into the world.

This guidance that spoke to them must be considered. God will not withhold guidance from any who sincerely seek Christ. If a person wants to find Christ and sincerely seeks Christ, God will guide that person to him. Likewise, if you truly seek the will of Christ for your life, God will guide you. God wants every person to find Jesus and to know, that is to have an intimate relationship with, Jesus; God does everything he can to help all who seek Jesus to find Jesus, for without Jesus we would remain eternally lost.

If ordinary means are not sufficient, extraordinary means will be used to provide guidance. In the Scripture, we find a combination of the ordinary and the extraordinary. We have the extraordinary astronomical phenomenon, and we have the ordinary priest and scribes interpreting the extraordinary writings of the prophets. If you are seeking Jesus and his will for your life, and if God is unable to communicate effectively with you through ordinary means due to your blindness, he will use the extraordinary and miraculous in order that you receive the guidance you need. The powerful political leaders and religious leaders were not seeking Jesus. Even when they heard of him, they rejected him and wanted nothing to do with him. They did not want to give up their comfort and their power to seek the true Messiah. They knew what we sometimes forget. Two bodies cannot occupy the same place, if one comes in the other goes out. People know that if they seek Jesus and accept him, self and Satan can no longer occupy their life.

If we do not find Jesus and his will for our lives, it is certainly not for the like of the star. The star was available for all to see, but only a small handful of people saw and followed the star. God wants very much for us to find Jesus and Jesus sincerely wants to make his will known to us. If we seek the will of God, he will provide the guidance for his revelation.

Prayer: God, help me to recognize that you have the right to break into my life turning my plans and my dreams upside down, putting me on a course of your own choosing. Lord, you know my heart and my innermost thoughts. You know my fear of taking risks, I ask for faith to allow you to include my life in your larger plan. I ask for courage to walk in the way you designed for me. I ask for assurance that your will is my best choice and my greatest fulfillment. Amen.

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