A prompting. A quiet voice. An idea. A sign. A star.
Have you ever just felt called to follow or seek after something without even knowing where it’s leading you?
In Matthew 2:1-18, we read about the magi, or wise men, who traveled from the East to Jerusalem, following a star.
When this star appeared, they believed it was a sign that would lead them to “he who has been born king of the Jews?” (v. 2)
The Bible doesn’t tell us much about these men, but we do know from history that the magi were known to be wise men, priests, experts in astrology, and interpreters of dreams.
We can also rightly assume they read some form of prophecies because they knew about the birth of Jesus:
““They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”” Matthew 2:5-6
Also, because they were experts in astrology, they studied the stars as a means to gain insight about human affairs. So when they saw this peculiar star, they somehow correlated it to the prophecy about Jesus, and set out in search of him, with the unique star leading the way:
“For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”” Matthew 2:2
In this small passage of the Bible, we must realize that it was included in the Bible for a reason, as:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
It’s not just another quaint Christmas story. There’s a deeper meaning than what we see on the surface.
As we pay attention to the details revealed to us in this passage, we can learn 5 lessons from the Wise Men:
- They followed the star until they reached their destination. They didn’t stop until they found what they were looking for. When God calls us to follow Him, we must continue to seek after Him in all that we do.
- They let the star lead the way. Just as they followed the star that led them to Jesus, we are to follow the scriptures that also lead us to Jesus. The magi didn’t go off course or head in a different direction. No, they kept on following the star.
- They rejoiced when they found Jesus. It says they “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (v. 10). When you finally find the one you are looking for, your savior, all you can do is rejoice. This is why we worship Him, why we sing praises to Him. It is because of all that He has done and all that He will do for us, that we can rejoice.
- They presented gifts to Him. The magi didn’t come to Jesus empty-handed. They brought him treasures. When you go to visit someone at their home, it’s almost obligatory that you bring some sort of gift with you, whether it be flowers, or a box of chocolates, etc. Likewise, when you enter into the presence of God, you bring with you what you can, your whole heart, your spiritual gifts, your willingness to serve.
- They had the wisdom and discernment to know when something wasn’t right, and avoided trouble. “And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way” (v. 12). After the magi’s visit, they decided to go home a different way in order to avoid Herod, who wanted to find and kill Jesus (v. 13). They knew a run-in with Herod would only end up in disaster.
Likewise, we should also be on the lookout for trouble and do our best to steer clear of it.
“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” Proverbs 23:3
I challenge you, when you read the Bible, to take the time to really dig deep to find the treasures that are hidden in every passage. The stories in the Bible are more than just tales about the past.
They are lessons for how we are to seek after God and let Him lead us through this life, to his heart, and away from dangers and darkness.
Like the Magi’s star, the Bible is a bright beacon that leads us straight to Jesus:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
Next time a star appears in the horizon, think of the wise men, and remember how they sought after God, with hearts willing and ready to worship.
To follow the whole series of Journey to Christmas, click here: https://jenniferjabbour.com/the-journey-to-christmas-advent-series/