Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Some thoughts on Christmas -
The Wise Men
“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,”
We do not know much about these wise men. From their name ‘wise men’ we know that these were men of learning, maybe even scientists. Obviously we know that they were from ‘the east’ because that is where they claimed to have seen ‘his star.’ They must know something about astronomy and the Scriptures (Num. 24:17; Isa. 60:3; Daniel 9; Micah 5:2). Since they presented three gifts we assume that there were three of them, but the Bible does not say how many wise men there were exactly. They must have been very important since they got an audience with King Herod. They were interested in one thing, i.e. to worship Jesus Christ, who was the then born King of the Jews. Barnes (a commentator) does not ascribe anything special to their worship of the child, rather it was simply an acknowledging of Jesus to be a ruler. There was not anything more in particular there but to treat Him with social respect and reverence.
With that in mind it was the desire to worship which motivated them to journey afar through some rough and dangerous lands. It was enough for them to have seen “A Star out of Jacob,” and they were ready to pack up, leave their prominent (and I’m sure comfortable) place, and embark on a journey that would take them to Jerusalem.
Today, we have been given a better ‘sign.’ We have God’s Word complete and sufficient in the Bible. In it we find the reason we celebrate Christmas. We don’t need to know ‘astronomy’ in order to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. What we need is some good old fashioned OBEDIENCE. Does our worship of Jesus Christ encourage us to obey His Word? Obviously these wise men understood and applied the Hebrew Scriptures in order to find time to worship Christ. Do we take time to read, understand, study, and apply the Bible? And if we are obedient to the Scriptures, would it not then point us towards Christ? Every Sunday, we have an opportunity to do as these wise men did, and journey from our homes to worship Christ the Lord, in church. What a great privilege we have.
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