January 4, 2010

The Wisdom of the Wise Men

The second chapter of Matthew's gospel tells us the story of the visit of the Magi (Wise Men) from the east to see the child Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12). Taking a closer look at the story shows us how wise the Wise Men really were and gives us some things we should be thinking about in the year 2010...

1. They were paying attention.
a. The Magi had clearly been watching the sky because they not only noticed the star but knew there was something special about it.
b. The first thing they did when they arrived in Jerusalem was to start asking questions, not just any questions but being aware of what was happening, they were able to ask the right questions.
c. They stayed focused on what mattered, recognizing that Jesus was worthy of being worshiped. Is Jesus your center?

2. They remained persistent.
a. King Herod was a well known tyrant and murderer but any fear the Magi might have felt when he asked to meet with them privately did not deter them from seeking and finding Jesus.
b. They continued to trust the star of Christ as their guide and were not swayed by the wisdom of the world. Are you allowing Christ to guide and direct your steps?

3. They worshiped with joy.
a. They allowed themselves to experience the joy that comes from worshiping Christ.
b. These men of great stature and prominence approached Jesus, as a baby, with humility and awe. How often do we do that today?
c. They did not leave their encounter with God incarnate unchanged. The fear of King Herod's wrath did not have a hold on them, they were overjoyed by this experience and nothing could take that from them. When we encounter the Spirit of Christ, do we come expecting to leave different? How often do you allow the joy that is yours through Christ be taken away by the cares of this world?