It’s the most wonderful time of the year…It’s that season once again – The house cleaning begins, the cake making starts, and who can forget the Holiday shopping. All this just for that one special day in our calender called Christmas. When we mention Christmas to little children their eyes light up with joy because they sense, Mom and Dad along with relatives will definitely have gifts to give. Everyone associates Christmas with gifts and new things. But more often than not the reason for the season is lost.
The Christmas story has been told and retold over a years with newer variations to the story. Today I’d like to bring focus into the lives of the Wise-men and their journey.
Why Were The Wise-men So Wise?
We call them wise-men, others call them kings (which is not true) but the gospel writer calls them ‘Magi’, from the Greek word ‘Magoi’. It means learned men, wise in their field of study. Centuries before, God’s Prophet Daniel was the chief head of the Magis (Dan 2:48) in the Babylonian Empire. Years later when the Persian Empire conquered Babylon, it’s subjects and local leaders like Daniel continued their roles under the new Persian King. Later God spoke to the Persian King Cyrus (Ezra 1:2) and instructed in the making of the Temple of God in Jerusalem, followed by the freedom of the nation of Israel and allowing them to return to their own land. It is very likely that Daniel’s knowledge and teachings passed on to the Magis of the Persian empire long after Daniel life and Israel’s return from exile.
Our focus is on the few wise-men who came to meet Jesus. The Bible doesn’t tell us the number of wise-men there was, but it certainly records their journey in Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12. Among the many things they knew which made them wise, let me state the top 4 reasons:
1. They were wise-men because of the person they sought.
- They were looking for a Man.
- They were looking for a Monarch.
- They were looking for the Messiah.
There are over 300 prophesy of the Messiah in the Old Testament. Here are a few: Isaiah 6:9-10, 7:14, Micah 5:2.
2. They were wise-men because of the perils they fought.
- They travelled vast distance of difficult terrain.
- They faced varies dangers of the open road of the first century Middle East. (cf: Matt 2:8).
The wise-men were carrying expensive gifts on their journey. At any point they can get mugged and left for dead. Also they faced a foreign King who could have had them arrested.
3. They were wise-men because of the plan they were taught.
- They were devoted to the reading of the Scriptures (cf: Dan. 9:25-27).
- They follow Revelation of the Star (cf: Matt. 2:9). Not to worship the star, but the God who created the star.
- They were attuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit (cf: Matt 2:12). As they changed they route back home.
The Spirit of God speaks in a still small voice through the reading of scripture and sometimes through His creation. The Holy Spirit has one major job, and that is to lead people to Jesus. Click To Tweet
4. They were wise-men because of the presents they brought.
- Gold – The most precious metal. It represents Royalty and Kingship (cf: Ps 21:3).
- Frankincense – The most fragrant aroma. It represents Jesus’ Deity & a sign of Worship (cf: Exo. 30:1; Mic 1:11).
- Myrrh – The most expensive perfume. It represents our Redemption. Priests are anointed by this perfume because they stand in the gap to atone for the sins of the people (cf: Ex 30:30 ; 1 Jn 2:2 ; Mt 26:7).
In this entire narrative you will encounter three types of people who reflect today’s society:
- King Herod – Represents the opposed, the ones who reject and are against the Christmas message.
- The Priests – Represents those who don’t care, who don’t want to be bothered.
- The Wise-men – Represents those who are receptive toward the Lord Jesus, who want to go All in for God no matter what the cost.
The reason we give gifts because of the first and greatest gift God gave us by sending His Son Jesus to die for our sins so that we may have eternal life (cf: Jn 3:16). Christmas is not just about the cradle…We are saved by His death not His birth. The reason for the season is Jesus who humbled himself to the form of a man, and being obedient to the point of death (cf: Phil 2:5-11) so that we are set free from the burden of sin and death.
Which one of the three characters are you? Herod? Priests? or the Wise-men?