“Though many kings of the Jews had been born and died, none of them did the Magi seek to adore. And so they who came from a distant foreign land to a kingdom that was entirely strange to them…But they had learned that such a King was born that by adoring Him they might be sure of obtaining from Him the salvation which is of God.” – Saint Augustine.
The Magi or wise men from the east had come to Jerusalem. We don’t know how many came, we don’t know how they made the trip, or specifically from where they came. We do know that they made a long journey from the east in search of the rightful King of the Jews. Clearly, the Magi understood that this king would be more than just an earthly king.
These wise men went to Jerusalem and began inquiring where the new king was. It must have come as a shock that nobody knew anything about the king. Herod got wind that a threat to his throne may have been born among the Jews. He calls together all the experts. Everyone knows what is going on. The experts in Scripture know about Bethlehem and the prophecies of the Messiah. But no one from Jerusalem goes to find out anything, except the wise men.
The Magi followed a star to a place in Bethlehem where they find Jesus. And when they found Jesus, they fell down before Him and they worshipped Him. They humbled themselves and they fell down before this baby, they now called king and worshipped as God. They gave Him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They had found the Messiah, the King of kings, the Savior of the world and they worshipped Him.
These wise men were seekers. It was in their seeking that they saw something. They saw something of God in creation in the star, then in Scripture through the prophecy, then they saw God in the person of Jesus Christ. They found the Savior.
It wasn’t just lip service to them. They obeyed God. They didn’t just give their gifts and then do whatever they wanted to do with the rest of their lives. When God warned them in a dream not to return to Herod, they didn’t. They obeyed. Their worship was authenticated by their obedience.
They had great joy as well. The Scripture says that they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. There is no stronger way to say that they had joy. They were full of the greatest joy. Worship brings joy. Worship of the King of kings brings joy, unspeakable joy, hope, and life. Worship and joy are inseparable partners. And the Magi discovered it in Jesus Christ.
- Does it surprise you the sacrifices the wise men made to see the baby, Jesus? What do you think motivated the wise men to journey so far from home and their refusal to be diverted from their mission?
- The wise men were led by a star to Jesus. What are various things in your life that lead you to Jesus?
- The wise men went to great lengths to worship Jesus. But Jesus went to greater lengths to love them. How will you respond to God’s love for you this Christmas?