Most nativity scenes include three wise men. Technically, there were likely more than three who undertook the journey and who arrived well after the manger scene, but the wise men add a special part to the Christmas account of the birth of Jesus. We can learn from them.
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him” (Matthew 2:1-2). These men had knowledge of the coming of the Jewish Messiah, likely passed down from Daniel who had influenced the magi of the east during Judah’s sixth century captivity. Their testimony, we have seen his star in the east, indicates they were carefully anticipating His coming.
Are we anticipating the second advent of Jesus? Beyond that, are we anticipating Jesus showing up in our daily lives? He is a present guide and deliverer.
Once the wise men saw His star in the east, they sought Jesus. The best they knew, following the light they had, they first came to Jerusalem. Learning more, they were redirected to Bethlehem through knowledge of Micah’s prophecy (Micah 5:2), and then “lo, the star, which they saw 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 exceeding great joy” (Matthew 2:9-10). The point is, they followed divine leadership because they were seeking Jesus. Unlike many of the religious Jews, they sought a person, not a system.
Are we seeking Jesus? The person and not a system of religion? As we receive guiding light through the Word and the Spirit, do we immediately follow in our pursuit of Jesus?
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11).
As we encounter the living Savior in our lives, do we worship Him? Do we extol His worth? Do we give Him what He deserves?
John Van Gelderen