As we’ve journeyed through the Christmas Story, we’ve seen all kinds of unlikely people get to play key parts in the events surrounding the birth of Jesus:
- Elizabeth and Zechariah whose desire to have a child was suddenly fulfilled in a most unexpected way
- Mary and Joseph – an ordinary couple given a seemingly impossible message and thrust into the thick of the action
- The shepherds – unimportant and overlooked by others, but invited to witness the coming of the Saviour
- Simeon and Anna who had waited faithfully, and who finally saw their hopes become reality
Today we come to another surprising group of visitors to the young Jesus – the wise men.
From far, far away, they noticed a new star appear and they knew it told of the coming of a king.
Their intelligence is impressive, but even more impressive is the commitment they displayed in leaving their homes and embarking on what must have been a long and arduous journey to go and see the new king.
We don’t know what they left behind, or how long it took, but we know that they were determined. They were not content simply to know of the coming of the new king; they wanted to see for themselves, and they were willing to do whatever it took – following the star for many miles, asking for help at King Herod’s palace, listening to the words of the ancient prophecy, persevering until they finally found the one they were seeking.
Ultimately they wanted to worship him.
Their dedication is a challenge to me. Am I really seeking Jesus this Christmas?
It’s easy to know the story, but it’s also easy to become complacent, for the familiarity to allow the wonder of Jesus’ coming to lose its sparkle.
What about you? Whether for the first time or for the hundredth time, are you seeking Jesus this Christmas? Really seeking to go beyond head knowledge to personal knowledge and to worship?
The story of the wise men shows us that God gives insight to those who seek him. The wise men understood things about Jesus that few others understood at that point. You can see it in their choice of gifts – extremely unusual gifts for a new-born baby, but entirely appropriate gifts for Jesus:
Gold – for a king
Frankincense – used in worship by the priests who were mediators between God and man, pointing to the fact that Jesus would be the ultimate mediator, the Great High Priest, who would make the perfect sacrifice to reconcile God and man forever
Myrrh – used to embalm dead bodies, pointing ahead to the significance of Jesus’ death and that it was the means by which he would accomplish his mission
The seeking took time and effort and sacrifice, but I’m sure the wise men agreed that it was worth it in the end.
So let’s follow their example! Let’s set aside time and make the effort to go beyond a surface-level reading of the story, to go deeper, to capture or recapture the wonder of God sending his only son for us, and then to bow in worship, giving what we have to him.
Let’s seek him this Christmas!
“Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.” (Psalm 105:4 NLT)
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NLT)
Join me Mondays and Wednesdays throughout Advent for more Christmas Hope! Links to all the posts in the series can be found here.