Growing up, many of us would learn about the wise men, but have we ever considered that we could learn from them? God’s invitation to a human heart requires a response, and the wise men show us how it’s done.
They Seek. Throughout our entire text, the wise men seek until they find. Regardless of effort or obstacle, they pursue. If you sense that niggling in your spirit and are not yet a follower of Jesus Christ, keep seeking. God rewards those who seek.
They Rejoice. We witness, not a smattering, but a trifecta of joyfulness! “Rejoice” is enough to conjure images of a happy event, but the gospel writer was inspired to capture a rejoicing in an extreme way with an intense amount of gladness. When spiritually far-away people truly encounter Jesus Christ, extreme joy is a necessary outcome.
They Worship. If these men, who had more clout and wealth than most of us could imagine, fell prostrate on the ground before a toddler, we would do well to remember the greatness of the one we claim to serve. Jesus Christ – the crafter of the cosmos, the designer of DNA, the one intimately aware of who we are in our most secret places but who condescended to rescue and love us anyway – He is the one before whom we should assume a perpetual posture of reverence.
They Offer. Anticipating the magnitude of greatness they hoped to encounter, the wise men knew it was only proper to offer the Christ gifts suiting his station. In our case, what Jesus Christ is worthy of and has specifically asked for is less tangible than elements and ointments, but far more treasured: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matt. 22:37
They Obey. The wise men did one final, recorded thing. It’s implied, but it’s there. God directed and they heeded. The only logical response after encountering Christ’s kindness and kingship is to submit to his deserving rule in our lives regarding how we live, love, speak, serve, give and go.
As we celebrate an event that, if truly believed, would radically change us, let’s evaluate whether profound joy, humble worship, fitting offerings and ready obedience to God are consistent and increasing marks of our lives. If they are not, we should start back at “seek” to be sure that it is actually Jesus as he revealed himself that we have found, and not a tame, ineffectual savior of our own design.
This devotional series is inspired by the children’s book, The Christmas Quest.
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