WISE MEN SEEK HIM STILL
There weren’t three of them, and they weren’t Kings. Ancient traditions actually suggest there were twelve of them, twelve Magi, twelve Wise Men. We remember them because they travelled that very long and hazardous journey, just to find Jesus.
Psalm 14:1 tells us, “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” At the first Christmas these Wise Men certainly weren’t fools! They knew that God exists and they came looking for him. And if anyone today is looking for God they can find Him in exactly the same place and the same person — in Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. If you are not sure there is a God or if God really exists — look at Jesus. Look at his miraculous birth. Take a good long look at his life. Think about his teaching. Look at his miracles. Look at his death. Look at his glorious resurrection. God does exist. His name is Jesus.
Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10 both say, “Reverence for God is the beginning of wisdom.” Those Wise Men respected God. They held God in awe — they feared God. And so the Bible tells us in Matthew 2:11 that this is how they reacted when they came into the presence of baby Jesus.
“On coming to the house they saw the child with his mother Mary and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of frankincense and of myrrh.”
“We have come to worship Him,” they said. No wonder Herod was furious. You pay respect to a king, you serve a king, but you only worship God! But the Wise Men had recognized who Jesus is, the Son of God, so they gave Him the honour and glory and praise and worship which is his right! And it is the same today, two millennia later. History has seen many great philosophers and moral teachers, and many great leaders, but the whole world counts its years from the birth of Jesus Christ. This is because, out of all these great figures through history who receive our admiration, only one is worthy of our worship and our praise, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
“Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of frankincense and of myrrh.”
THE GIFTS THE WISE MEN BROUGHT
GOLD — a fitting gift for a King. But the baby in the manger was much more than just a human King. He was no less than the King of heaven. Jesus was called Emmanuel which means ‘God with us’, God born as a human being to bring the world back to Himself.
FRANKINCENSE — a fitting gift for a priest, someone who represents men and women before God. There is no-one better to bring us to God than Jesus the Son of God. And no-one else is able to bring us to God but Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
MYRRH — a very strange gift indeed — the pain-killing medicine used to anoint bodies for burial. Yet myrrh was a fitting gift for Jesus the Saviour who himself said that he “did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as the ransom for many,” (Mark 10:45) dying on the cross so that we could be forgiven.
No wonder the Wise Men bowed down to worship that tiny baby. He was Jesus, the King, the Priest and the Saviour. The Wise Men made their long, hard, dangerous journey to follow the star that brought them to the stable to worship Jesus. Their gifts were only tokens of their allegiance and their obedience. They laid down their lives with their gifts. And that same Jesus Christ is worthy of the same response from us today — our worship, our trust, our commitment.
The Saviour of the world can still be found. Wise men and women and children seek him still.
What gifts can we give to God in 2019?
I can … (things you can do)
I am … (things about you)
I have … (things you have)
I will … (things you want to do to please God)
Let us all offer our gifts to God in 2019