Monday, December 23, 2013

Anticipating Christ: The Wise Men’s Journey

"The three wise men" are a huge part of Christmas today. There are songs about them. They are in pretty much every nativity scene ever made. And you can certainly find them in almost every Christmas play/cantata/program too. What's interesting is that we know very little about them. Here are some things we do know:

  • They were from "the East"
  • They knew Biblical prophecy
  • They followed a star to Bethlehem
  • They had a run-in with King Herod
  • They visited Jesus and brought Him gifts
  • They did not return to King Herod because they were warned in a dream not to
That's pretty much it.

We assume that there were three of them, because they offered him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We also assume that they saw Jesus right after He was born (because after all, they are there in our nativity scenes!!)

In actuality, the Bible doesn't say where they were from, whether they were Kings or just distinguished foreigners, how many there were, or when exactly they saw Jesus. However, it is estimated that they saw Jesus when he was a toddler, as Matthew 2 uses the term "child", and King Herod later ordered all of the male children age two and under to be killed according to the timeline that he ascertained from the wise men.

What I find most intriguing about the Wise Men is just how far they were willing to go to meet Jesus. In Biblical days, travel was dangerous. Highways were filled with robbers and vagabonds....people that certainly would recognize a group of distinguished people and know that they probably carried some truly valuable possessions with them.

But the danger and expense of a long trip did not stop the Wise Men from journeying many miles to worship Jesus, and I think that provides us with a perfect example of how we should be today.

We shouldn't worry about what others might think of us when we worship Him. We shouldn't stop pursuing Him just because the road is getting long and troubled. We shouldn't let anyone-not even a hot-tempered king-get in our way of seeking Him out.

Christmas is only two days away (!!!), and I know that we are all busy as we finish our last minute preparations. One walk-through at Wal-Mart today during my lunch break reminded me just how commercialized and stressful this Christmas season has become. But my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not forget the true meaning of this season.

Let us not forget to seek after our Lord today, and fall at His feet in worship.

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh." ~Matthew 2: 10-11

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