“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” – Matthew 2:1-2.
We know the story of the wisemen from the Bible, but how much do we actually know? We don’t know for sure how many were there, where they came from or how long their journey took. They show up and then they are gone. But this was a journey of faith.
What would prompt someone to leave the comfort of their homes to go on a dangerous journey? Romance? Yes. Wealth? Most definitely. But faith? Yes, faith. They asked, “Where is He who has been born the King of the Jews?” That is an interesting question. They had seen the star – the evidence was real – now where is He? They had faith that He was alive – that He existed – now all they needed to do was to find Him. They were willing to risk everything to find Him. They were willing to leave the safety of their homes to risk a perilous journey to seek a King.
Can you imagine what the relatives, neighbors and friends reactions were? “By your actions, I am assuming you are going away, is that true? Yes. Where are you going exactly? Well, I am not sure. Well, how far is it? I’m not sure of that either. At least tell me how long you expect to be gone. Well, I’m not sure of that either. So, you don’t know where you are going, how far it is or how long you will be gone, is that right? Yes. Remind me again why they call you guys wisemen?”
Abraham probably heard the same things when he left his home for the Promised Land. They must have said the same things to Noah who was building an ark – even though it had never rained in the history of the earth up till that point. They must have said the same kind of things to Peter, Andrew, John and James when they left the fishing nets to become fishers of men. People of faith have been willing to respond to the challenges of the unknown over and over again down through history. But God guided them on their journey.
The star was a sign from God, a supernatural sign to lead them along their way. God cares enough for His people that He will never leave them to themselves, guessing apart from Him which way to go, which way to turn and what decision to make. He desires to lead His children, to guide His children and bring His children to their destination.
Was there a price to be paid for the wisemen’s worship? Yes. Travel in those days was not very comfortable – in fact it could be down right dangerous. But the wise men were willing to make the sacrifice to find the newborn king and worship Him.
- Do you see the wisemen’s journey as a journey of faith? Why or why not?
- How has your journey toward God been similar or different than the wisemen?
- The wisemen were led by a star to Jesus. What are various things in your life that lead you to Jesus? What are some habits and external influences that we can build into our lives to point us toward Jesus?
- King Herod tried to alter the purpose of their search for and worship of Jesus. What internal and external forces threaten or distract your pursuit of and worship of Jesus?