“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 saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.’ After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 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 worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.” —Matthew 2:1-12 (ESV)
How often are you brought to your knees in the face of God’s glory? How often are you rendered speechless by the faithfulness of our Father in your life? If we’re honest with ourselves, there are times we don’t quite grasp the magnitude of God’s love for us, and as a result, we don’t respond accordingly. We fall into mundane habits and monotonous routines, and we neglect the need to give God the honor and praise He deserves. As we continue through the characters of the Christmas story, we come to the wisemen who sought out the Savior.
The wisemen enter into the narrative without summons. They came from the east in search of the one true King, all because they witnessed His great light. Without hesitancy, these men abandoned their lives and homes in pursuit of the Lord; they knew earthly possessions mattered little when compared to the eternal gift of Jesus. The wisemen were pure of heart and faithful to the Lord, which is why they could seek and find His star guiding them to Bethlehem. They were “wise” because they chose to pursue the will of God and not the will of King Herod of Judea. While Herod sought to destroy life, God seeks to restore it. The wisemen held fast to their commitment to the Lord, rejoicing in His abundance of joy, love, and life. They worshipped Jesus at great cost to their own lives because they knew He was worthy.
The wisemen stopped at nothing until they found Jesus. Even then, they bypassed Mary to reach her son. In seeking His face, they found everything. They displayed raw and pure worship that was led by the power of the Holy Spirit. No one told them how to praise the Lord’s name when they met the Messiah; their praise was a natural response to His goodness. The men had little to offer the King of Kings, yet they showered Him with the best they had. They were forever changed after meeting Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah. This is why they returned home by another direction. The way of Jesus called them to truth, justice, and life—a path in contrast to the way of man.
While we are years removed from this event, the truth of Jesus’ birth and His presence in our lives remains. Just as we have seen obedience in Joseph and surrender in Mary, we find guidance to true, unrestricted worship in the wisemen. Our Father is worthy of and longs for our greatest cries and praise of His great name. Like the wisemen, we should let no man, path, or thing on Earth keep us from seeking the face of God to rejoice in His life, death, and resurrection.