A unique part of the Biblical Christmas story involves “wise men” who saw a star and embarked on a journey to locate and worship the child Jesus. The wise men, or “magi”, were distinguished foreigners, likely educated and wealthy. We have sung about them, given them prominence in our nativity scenes, and brought their characters to life in countless Christmas pageants. As we close this year out and begin a new one, these wise men can still teach us something about locating Jesus in our own lives.
Some things that stand out in the wise men’s story:
- Their journey, like all good journeys, had a beginning. One day they saw something that sparked their curiosity and they yearned to learn more. In their case, they saw an unusual star and felt God leading them to the newborn King. They were mathematically adept astrologers who also knew the Old Testament Scriptures and God used their field of knowledge to start them moving towards Jesus. God has a way of relating Christ to every man, every nation, and every walk of life. He provides the spark, the signpost, the leading…and wise men follow it. Joseph and Mary each received a visit by an angel, the shepherds saw a choir of angels, the wise men got a star. God uses something to get us moving towards Jesus. Your journey doesn’t have to begin like anyone else’s, that’s what makes this so personal. What God uses to get you interested in Jesus will be unique, because you are unique. The key is to not waste any time – just get moving.
- Their journey required them to ask some questions. Question asking will always be necessary to reach a desired destination. Curiosity coupled with perseverance has been helping men solve big problems for generations. But the right questions can help you on a spiritual quest as well. God is waiting to answer your questions, but you need to be bold, and wise enough, to ask them. Don’t worry, God can handle your biggest questions and there’s no such thing as a dumb question with Him. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Each answer will bring you closer to Jesus.
- Their journey included some serious opposition. They had to deal with a lying, deceiving, and an evil king named Herod. Not everyone wants to help you in your quest to locate Christ. Some people on your journey will be sworn enemies of Christ and will stop at nothing to discourage those who want to worship Him. It was that way for the wise men, and nothing has changed. The sooner you understand that the journey to locate and worship Jesus is fraught with risk, the better prepared you will be. Don’t let the naysayers and haters give you a detour. God protected the wise men, and He will protect you too. Stay the course.
- Their journey was worth it all. The Scripture says they “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” when they finally located Jesus. They responded the way all of us should when we discover our Savour – they “fell down and worshiped Him”. They then opened their treasures and offered Jesus the best of what they had. Wise men indeed. Now, they were not only wise academically but wise spiritually. Once you find Jesus, don’t postpone your joy, let it out! Celebrate Him and the fact that He somehow, someway led you to Him. You have made the same trek millions of others have made and only heaven will tell how much it was worth it all. Never let the joy of finding Jesus leave your soul; it’s been a miraculous journey!
This Christmas, take a moment to locate where Christ is in your life. Have you found Him? And, if you have…are you still worshiping Him and offering Him your treasure? The wise men never took their journey to Christ for granted and neither should we. God has been leading you more than you know, and here you are – still following Him (even without a star). You look like a wise man to me.