One of the most fascinating Christmas stories is about men who come from the east, commonly referred to as Wise Men. Whenever the birth of Jesus is told, this tale of strange men with gifts, from some faraway land, is included. All that we know about these men is found in the New Testament book of Matthew. It’s interesting that their story is only told in Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had been given a purpose for his book. That purpose was to present Jesus as King, the rightful heir to the throne of King David. It’s no wonder that Matthew shares the story of the men who came from the royal courts of kings of the east.
Scriptures Revelation 19:16; Matthew 2:1-12; Philippians 2:9-11
There are many questions concerning these Wise Men from the East. Questions such as: 1. Who are they and where did they come from? 2. How many were there? 3. What is the light they saw and how did it lead them to Bethlehem? 4. How long after the birth of Jesus did they arrive in Jerusalem? 5. How did they know that the baby was going to be the king of the Jews? Examining their story in Matthew chapter 2 helps us get a handle on these questions and it also reveals another interesting character: King Herod. When the wise men told him why they had come to Jerusalem, Herod saw the message as a threat to his authority and power. It was a distance of about five miles from Herod’s throne in the palace to where Jesus was in Bethlehem. King Herod was just five miles from the true King of kings and Lord of Lords yet he never went to see Him. His pride wouldn’t let him. On the other hand, the wise men had traveled hundreds of miles seeking the newborn king because of their humility and faith.
Besides Jesus, which Christmas story character would you most want to take to dinner? How did you struggle with pride as you considered coming to faith in Christ? How would you defend the statement: “True worship involves giving.”? Do you think the wise men were disappointed when they found baby Jesus in a house instead of a palace? In our spiritually dark world, would it be easier or harder for the wise men to find Jesus today?
There are three takeaways from this part of the Christmas story. 1. If the wise men can find Jesus then so can we. Keep seeking for King Jesus and you will find Him. 2. If God can use a star to reach the wise men, then He can use anything to reach anybody. God can use a book, a TV program, a song, a brief conversation or anything he desires to reach people we love and care for who still don’t know Him. Keep praying for them and trusting in Him. 3. If the wise men offered Jesus gifts fit for a king, then so should we. Offer the most valuable thing you have to Him: yourself. Offer Him that gift and then the King of kings and Lord of lords will give you His gift: eternal life.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the Christmas story and the part the wise men, who followed the light, played in it. They were willing to sacrifice their comfort and their time and resources to seek you with humility and faith. Help me to follow the light of your word, the Bible, and seek after you and enthrone you as the Lord and King of my life this day and every day. In your name I pray, Amen.