The Wise Men
”When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.“
Matthew 2:9-11 NKJV
We can see from the scripture above that when the wise men found Jesus, it was well after his birth. They didn't find him in the stable as the shepherds did. They found him as a young child in his home with his mother. Even though it appeared they were late, they arrived at God's perfect time.
What made these men wise? Where does true wisdom come from?
”The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.“
Proverbs 9:10 NKJV
They were wise because they studied scripture and they were seeking to find Jesus. We don't know how many of them there were exactly, the Bible doesn't specify. The story goes that there were 3 wise men and they came to see Jesus in the stable, but the Bible doesn't tell us that it went down like that.
However, it appears that there were only a few who were wise and sought to find Him. Everyone else missed it. Everyone else went about as if nothing had happened. They had no idea of the magnitude of Jesus' birth. Heaven opened up and came down to only a few who were wisely searching for Him.
The gifts they brought to Jesus show that they understood exactly who He was. They brought gifts fit for a king.
Frankincense - considered pure and holy, was used in worship to God. The wise men recognized His position of authority and deity.
Gold - rare, costly, and fit to give to a king. This gift showed that they recognized His royalty.
Myrrh - an anointing oil used in burial. This gift acknowledged that Jesus was human and that He would save his people by dying for them.
Sadly, King Herod tried to use the wise men to get to Jesus. He was afraid of losing his position as king. His love of power and position blinded him and caused him to commit great sin and affliction on his people; so very opposite of the kind of King that Jesus came to be.
Herod had no understanding as to what kind of King, Jesus was positioned to be. God had no need of King Herod's throne. Sadly, Herod's love of wealth, power and fame led him astray. His money couldn't buy him the wisdom that comes from God.
”Now when they (the wise men) had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
Matthew 2:13 NKJV
It is believed that the gifts brought by the wise men helped pay for this precious family's escape to Egypt from Bethlehem; a very long and expensive journey in those days. God led them out, and the life of the Son was divinely protected from the wicked king.
Will it be any different when Jesus returns? I assume not. The Bible says that He will come like a thief.
Will you be watching and yearning for His return, seeking to find Him like the wise men did at His first coming?
"Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them."
Pray with me...
We praise You and You alone. Your sovereignty and miracle working power never ceases to amaze us. As we ponder the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the miracles that surrounded His earthly life, we are humbled. Thank You for the gift of His life. Oh, how we long to see His return!
Make us like the wise men of old, in search of Your Word to gain wisdom and understanding of how close we are to His coming. Help us to fix our eyes to the heavens and watch. Fill our hearts with the hope of what is to come. Even so, come Lord Jesus, come!
In Jesus Name, Amen