One of my favorite Christmas decorations/billboard/church sign/sayings I have seen the last few years is the phrase “wise men still seek Him”, so clever! But, the reality is, we just THINK we are wise. Jeremiah 9:23-24 says this, “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom…but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me…” Prior to their being led to, and encountering Jesus, the “wise men” didn’t have any true wisdom at all! But in Matthew chapter 2 we see them encounter divine wisdom. Check it out:
6 Things that marked the experience of the wise men visiting The Christ child.
1. Indescribable Joy Matt 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
This is a redundant sentence, using repetition for emphasis. The entrance of Hope is unlike any other experience in life. You may have heard people describe a god-shaped hole in their life, when that hole is filled, it changes everything! That’s joy.
2. They worshiped Matt 2:11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.
The wise men were use to being in the presence of worldly greatness, but nothing came close to what they had found in Jesus. He was worthy of their WORSHIP. They fell on their face in his presence and expressed his worth. Their physical response was reflective of a spiritual reality. In the presence of God we realize how low we are and how high and lifted up he should be!
3. They gave him their best Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
The gifts they gave were worthy of a king! The early church fathers understood these 3 gifts to symbolic Gold – for his deity, frankincense – His Purity, myrrh – of his death (since it was a substance used for embalming)
4. The ongoing guidance and protection of God Matt 2:12a And being warned in a dream…
As the prophecy said, the Messiah would be a ruler who would also be a shepherd. One who cared deeply for the sheep, protected, ensured they were well taken care of. Jesus would later say in John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. These wise men were under the guidance of a new shepherd!
5. They have a new enemy Matt 2:12b not to return to Herod…
Herod wanted to do the work of the devil, to “kill, steal, and destroy” God’s work. The wise desired to worship and make Christ known, so Herod was to be avoided. 1 Peter 5:8-10 teaches us to “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith…”
6. A new sense of purpose Matt 2:12c they departed to their own country by another way.
The wise men now have REAL HOPE. They can, for the first time, be rightly referred to as wise. Not because of anything they knew, but because of WHO they knew.
The wise men had seen a lot in their life, perhaps the best that their day and age had to offer. Philosophy, Science, the company of kings, material possessions. a life most ppl of their time couldn’t even imagine…But like our old friend Solomon told us in Ecclesiastes, it all adds up to nothing if you don’t know the God who gave it to you. Wise men sought him then, and wise men still do.
We’re now a week from Christmas Eve. In the coming days I hope your able to enjoy some much needed time off from work, a break from your hectic schedule, and some time with your precious family…I hope you open up just the right gift on Christmas morning….But don’t be deceived, without Christ, at the very center of your life, this Christmas season will come and go, and your heart will be as empty as the boxes your gifts came in.