I’ve loved journeying through the Christmas story with you this week! As we’ve looked at each piece, I’ve been reminded how beautifully ordinary Jesus’ arrival on earth was. I’m sure glad He can use the ordinary to do extraordinary things, aren’t you?
But we can’t close the book on the Christmas story or turn the page on a new year without looking at the wise men. Our Christmas pageants give them funny hats and camels, but again, the Bible doesn’t provide these details.
No doubt, the wise men are one of the most mysterious parts of Christmas story. Were they kings? Were they rich? What are magi anyway? The Bible doesn’t fill in all of those blanks, but their story does have a thing to show us about what it means to be truly wise. Check it out.
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" (Matt. 2:1–12).
This passage gives us six clues about what it takes to be wise.
- The wise men paid attention. When a strange star rose, they studied it.
- The wise men moved. They wanted to be where God was stirring.
- The wise men had joy. They could rejoice because they knew God was greater than the king who wanted to stand in their way.
- The wise men worshiped.
- The wise men gave Jesus their best. This came in the form of elaborate gifts for them. It might mean giving Jesus the best part of your day, your talents, or the biggest part of your heart for you.
- They didn’t try to camp out with Jesus. They took what they learned about Him back to their normal lives.
Maybe part of the wise men’s role in the Christmas story is to act as mirrors, revealing whether or not we have a wise reaction to the Savior. Based on that list, are you wise? Do you react to the good news that Jesus lives with the same perspective as the wise men?
I’ve heard it said often that wise men (and women) still seek Him. Are you living like a wise woman this year?