In the story of Christmas, we discover a group of men that many refer to simply as “The Wise Men.” Churches for centuries have recognized their visit to see the Christ child and have even set aside a day to remember their pilgrimage. On January 6th what is known as Epiphany, Theophany or even Three Kings Day, is celebrated throughout the world.
Have you ever asked: what made these guys so wise?
Who were these ‘wise guys’? Magi? Three Kings?
They were astronomers, scientists, philosophers, wise and learned people from the East. They were seekers of understanding and respecters of mystery. They were ancients looking for understanding in a vast & unknown universe, who noticed a change in the night sky, a star they could not explain, and so followed where it led.
The wise men were people like us: inquisitive individuals, intrigued by new opportunities to learn, eager to experience new things. Yes, people on a journey, a mission, an expedition. Seeking understanding, valuing the very best in science and technology, but wanting to be connected to that which lies beyond what we can explain in human terms, that which transcends our limits.
They weren’t “Christians” since that term would not be used for a century or two. Yet, when they arrived at the place where Jesus was, they seemed to know what worship was: They came to the house where the child was and saw him with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their gifts and gave him treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11
Ahh, yes, true worship! These men, without training, protocol or religious demands, enter the house of the Christ child offering their very best (with treasured gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh) and the best of themselves. What was in their hands was valuable but wasn’t enough to lie at the feet of a King. So, without hesitation they bent their knees and buried their faces in the floor becoming prostrate before the King of Kings. They gave ALL of themselves… EVERYTHING.
Then, without being prompted or asked, they sealed their commitment by getting involved. Yes, at the risk of losing their own lives, they revealed the plot of Herod, warning Mary and Joseph to seek refuge, thus saving the child. It’s never enough to simply recognize who He is – we must get caught up in what He is doing – joining the mission at all costs.
Matthew tells us that as they left, they returned home by another route. They didn’t walk the same way that they did before meeting Jesus. There’s a lesson here, too, I believe. Anyone who truly encounters Christ walks differently. There’s purpose in the pace, destiny in the direction, and joy in the journey.
Each Christmas season I see signs and cards that read: “Wise Men Still Seek Him.” Are you seeking Him? Or, perhaps the better question is…
ARE YOU WISE?
…giving everything I have & everything I am,
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