Blessed is the man who seeks me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting at my doorposts.
For he who finds me, finds life,
and obtains favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 8: 34-35
What we know about the wise men and what we can learn from them:
1. They were seeking to worship the King of the Jews.
Matthew 2: 1-2 ...behold magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews, for we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
This begs the question, how did they know? Yes, they saw the star, but how did they know the significance of that star, that it was pointing to the Christ child? The magi, these wise men, were not Jews. Yet, they must have been acquainted with scriptures of prophesy in the Old Testament that foretold this event. They must have believed the scriptures and understood the significance of this birth, this miracle of the God who created man, becoming man, and offering salvation to all humanity. They knew what the scriptures said, enough to believe and act on that belief.
Do we know the scriptures? Do we spend time in His word, believing and allowing it to transform us to act like daughters of the KING?
2. They had come a long way and spent a long amount of time to do so.
Matthew 2:1 ...They came from afar
The journey was most likely long, at least several months if not longer. They probably encountered some hardships along the way, but they were undeterred. They had a resolve or purpose, they WERE going to find and worship this King. It was that important.
Is worshipping the King as important to us? What are we willing to sacrifice or endure to serve and worship the King?
3. They were following a star, that was guiding them to the new born King.
Matthew 2: 2 ..."For we saw His star in the east..."
Matthew 2: 9...they went their way, and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was.
They were looking up, following something higher than themselves. God wanted these wise men to find Him. He provided something- a star - to guide them to the Messiah. And they followed that star. Their view was not on the horizon, but on the heavens.
Where is our view? What do we 'look' at most? Are we following what He has provided us as our guide - the word of God?
4. They arrived in Jerusalem and begin to ask questions.
Matthew 2: 1-2 ...arriving in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He, the King of the Jews.
They must have assumed many would be going to worship the new King. After all this was an event they had traveled far and long to be a part of. Wouldn't everyone be wanting to see and worship this new born King? And so they asked the question, the obvious question, "So, where is HE, the new King?"
Are we asking the questions, the ones that are hard to ask of ourselves and also of others? Where is He is your life?
5. They caused quite a stir within the city and troubled King Herod.
Matthew 2: 3 -4 And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him, and gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them, where the Christ, (the Messiah), was to be born.
The wise men upset the politically correct system of the day by implying with their question that there was a new King in town, and it wasn't Herod. The city must have been in an uproar, "What? A new King? Don't tell Herod, don't upset the status quo, don't get this vile mean King Herod upset. Let's just look the other way, ignore these visitors, asking about a new King." Oops, too late. Herod found out, and was greatly troubled. And who were the people of the city that were troubled also? They were Jews, who KNEW from their prophesy that a messiah would be born, where He would be born, and what signs to look for. But they ignored all of this....for fear of Herod, or perhaps they just weren't looking and listening to the signs. Are we willing to cause a stir, to stand up for Christ? Or does fear of what others think or their approval stop us from standing up for truth? Do we hide behind 'politically correct' posturing in order to not make waves?
6. Herod, and obviously the rest of the city, did not see the star.
Matthew 2: 7 Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared.
Not only did Herod not see the star, it is apparent the city, and the Jews didn't either, because Herod did not ask this question to Jewish leaders or anyone else. He secretly asked the wise men. Which makes me wonder...why did the wise men see the star and the others did not? Was it because they weren't seeking, weren't looking? The Jews knew the scriptures, but did fear or complacency or something else prevent them from seeing the light, the star that guided the wise men to Jesus?
Are we seeking to see the light, the light of the word of God, and are we allowing ourselves to be guided by that light, or is the loudness of this world overshadowing the light of God?
7. Evil had a plan, but God's plan prevailed
Matthew 2: 8 And he (Herod) sent them to Bethlehem, and said, "Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him."
Matthew 2: 12 But having been warned by God in a dream, not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.
The wise men were indeed wise. Wise to the wiles of evil. They were not Jews, not God's chosen people, but they knew. Somehow they knew. I believe it is because they were seeking God. They weren't seeking to be right, or seeking wisdom or glory or recognition or wealth. They were simply seeking God, to see Him, to know Him, to worship Him. God knows the hearts of man, and so God guided them and warned them. And they were looking and listening.
Are we looking and listening? More important are we aware of evil, of the schemes of Satan in our life? And do we heed the warnings given to us in Scripture to avoid the schemes of Satan, who tries to defeat us daily?
8. They had great joy in finding what they had been seeking.
Matthew 2: 9-10 ...and lo, the star which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
In my imagination, I see tears. I see falling to ones knees and crying with joy. An unimaginable, inexpressible joy, one that I can only try to imagine we will feel in Heaven, when we finally see Jesus, after our long journey here on earth. But I also wonder, if all along their journey if there weren't times of excitement, anticipation and joy in seeing the star, and following the heavenly guide, that God had provided, and knowing that they were on a journey to see the God of all creation who had become man to save us all from our sin.
Is the joy of being a Christian evident within us? Or do we let the trials in the journey weigh us down? Are you excited to worship God, to sing and pray to Him and learn more of Him with other Christians?
9. They worshipped this new born King, and presented Him with the gifts they had brought, gifts that were their treasures.
Matthew 2: 11 And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshipped Him; and opening their treasures they presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
To worship God in the form of this baby Jesus, was the culmination of their journey. There is no higher calling we can have, than to worship God, and give Him the treasure of our heart, given wholly to Him in love and obedience. Unlike the wise men however, we are privileged to worship Him with our brethren every single Sunday, and to bring Him our gifts, the treasure of a life lived for HIM, today and everyday.
What gifts do you bring Him? Do we consciously think everyday, about the things we do and say, and whether they glorify and reflect Him?
10. And finally, these wise men went back to their own country.
Matthew 2: 12 ... they departed for their own country by another way.
We aren't told anything else of them, but I like to think they took the message back to their country. And that they continued to worship the King. They were indeed wise, and we can certainly learn from this short -12 verse - story.
Wise men still seek HIM, everyday of their life- through study of the word of God, through prayer and through worship and fellowship with fellow Christians.
This blog post was born out of an introspection within myself. I have been sewing the above little pillows for friends and neighbor gifts, and as I sew, I tend to think and pray. So I have been thinking a lot lately about the wise men and what it means to be wise today, to still seek Him. I have been looking in the mirror of my soul, so when I use the word "we" in the above questions, I am very much including "me". In light of the current media firestorm around Phil Robertson, and A & E, I really question within myself, my willingness to cause a stir, to stand for the truth and not shy away from it ever; to ask the hard questions as points 4 and 5 suggest. I don't want my 'voice' to only be heard in 'safe' territory. I am pretty good at that. I must use my voice where it is not popular to be heard, not being afraid to 'hurt' someone's feelings or for stones to be hurled at me. I must call sin, what it is, sin. And I must find the right balance between love and compassion for the person, and speaking God's truth. We are all sinners, but we aren't all forgiven, we haven't all yielded to Him. That is the message that I need and want to share. If I don't then I am not following or shining His light, and am indeed letting political correctness be a shield I hide behind. Wise men don't just seek Him, they speak for Him. I want to speak for Him, to speak His words to a lost and shameless world.