The Account of the Magi (Wise Men)
The Account of the Magi (Wise Men)
It’s just part of the package, isn’t it? The wise men. You just can’t have a proper Christmas production without them. These men, however many there actually were, travelling many miles from the East seeking the King, paint a beautiful picture of those who would go to any lengths to find the Savior. They were truly wise, seeking Him.
There are many lessons to be learned from their example here in Matthew, but it’s interesting to juxtapose the difference between them and the chief priest and scribes, because it shows a clear difference in the difference between knowledge and belief.
The Difference Between Knowledge and Belief
Both sets of men had the same bits of knowledge. They had gathered them from the same sources-the writings of the Prophets in the Scriptures. They had studied them and could be trusted to answer the same questions correctly. However, one set of men not only knew those things, they believed them.
They believed them so that they put their belief into action when they started across the desert to points unknown, seeking to put a face to their knowledge. They were richly rewarded, too, because at the end of their journey they did, indeed, get to see the face of the new King–the face of Jesus, God in the Flesh! What a reward!
We can have the knowledge of Jesus, but not believe it. We might say we believe, but unless it spurs us to action how strong can our belief be? It should be so strong that we, like these wise men of old, are willing to seek Him no matter what it takes! No matter what we leave behind. No matter now much it costs us. If we truly believe that Jesus is who He said He was, then we should be willing to follow Him wherever He leads.
If the chief priests and scribes truly believed that God would send a Messiah, how could they possibly have missed this event? Surely, there in Judah they saw this brilliant star the wise men saw from miles away? They may have even heard the rumors of the Shepherds receiving their angelic message. But, we have no indication that they believed it enough to seek out the truth behind these things. They are not mentioned in the account of Jesus’ birth (beside this) and, of course, they were notorious for their unbelief in Jesus as the Messiah during His years of ministry.
The Faith of The Wise Men
Those who were nearby, those who had the knowledge of the coming Messiah, did not have enough faith to seek Him. But, the wise men? Their faith was great. They had the knowledge PLUS complete faith in God that His Word in the Scriptures could be trusted and would come to pass. It’s why they didn’t hesitate to follow that star!
They followed it and at the end was a child, not in a mansion, but in very humble circumstances. Oh, that didn’t stop them from worshiping Him, though. They knew who He was and they bowed down before Him and gave Him the praise due Him for being the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. These great men, revered and respected, did not hesitate to give Jesus His rightful place of honor!
What About Us?
Do we honor Him? Do we seek Him? Do we truly believe? If we do, it ought to be obvious to all who meet us. That we, too, will give our all to this King!
We should be honored to lay down our lives for Him, as He did for us, because that is what this tiny baby came to do. He came to lay down His life as a sacrifice for us, so that our sins could be paid for completely with His precious blood. But, like the wise men, we have to seek Him. We have to go to Him seeking forgiveness of our sins and committing our lives to Him.
If we just have the knowledge of that, and not the belief, then we are missing so much. Tragically, just like the Scribes and the Chief Priests, we will completely miss the Savior without true, life-changing belief. Believe today. Believe that Jesus is Who He said He was. Lay down your life as a gift before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and follow Him wherever He leads. Then, you, like the wise men will be richly rewarded with the joy of finding the One whom you seek. Seek Him today.
Dearest Jesus, thank You for coming as a tiny baby. For coming to be the Messiah who would take away the sins of the world. Help our belief to be so great that we are willing to give ourselves completely to You. You are worthy. Amen