3 January 2022
Book: Matthew

Walk Like a Wise Man

Matthew 2:1-12

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 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.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Takeaways

  • Wise men were looking to find and discover things through fresh, new eyes. We need great wisdom from God and to know how to walk like great wise men. Wise men find Jesus.
  • If one is going to walk through life Godly and wise, one needs a little faith to begin that walk. One must be willing to walk a difficult journey through a difficult place while on that walk.
  • God expects you and informs you to seek. God is looking for something to rise up within us that desperately seeks for Him.
  • We must remain flexible when God steps in. When God steps in He becomes the leader of our lives.
  • When one is faithful and flexible to the mission and stays on track for what God wants, others are influenced by this even when it is not realized.
  • I find it interesting that the wise men passed Bethlehem of Judea and went to Jerusalem. They were looking for the religious leaders to point out the location of the King, but these religious leaders did not pay any regard to the signs or merit the instance of the divine birth. When you read Matthew 2:3, Herod did not even know there was this historical birth taking place and the religious leaders of the time seemed as if this was not a significant event and were uninterested. “Some men may be well instructed in their Bibles and yet be all the worse for what they have discovered.” (Spurgeon)
  • We should learn from the wisdom of these wise men. They were not satisfied with looking at the star and admiring it; they did something about the star, and set out and followed it. They persevered in their search and in following after the star. They were not discouraged in the search by clergy and doubtful religious leaders. They rejoiced at the star. When they arrived at the destination the star led them to, they entered in. When they entered in, they worshipped. They sensed an urgency to worship Him now and not wait until later. When they worshipped, it was to give something – not empty-handed adoration. We see a wonderful pattern: “Those who look for Jesus will see him: those who truly see him will worship him: those who worship him will consecrate their substance to him.” (Spurgeon)

One Couldn’t Help But Ask…

  1. Why would the religious people have been surprised or concerned at the news of the birth of the Messiah King? Had it not been written in the scriptures and foretold by the prophets? Will the same oversight be true when Jesus returns?
  2. Why was the wise men’s personal attention on this matter of a King being born so important to them? In other words, why would the wise men go to Jerusalem themselves; why not send lesser members of the temple or court on the arduous journey and have them report on what they found? Wouldn’t that have been the safer means of dealing with Herod? Would they not be in danger when they disobeyed Herod and failed to return with the information he was seeking?
  3. Every nativity scene we have ever seen clearly demonstrates that the wise men and shepherds were at the manger and barn with a new-born baby. This is clearly two different events according to the bible; one with the shepherds and one with the wise men. Should we be concerned about this misunderstanding? In other words, how could so many of us have been led astray about this story’s facts vs. the fictional world view when God’s word is so clear?
  4. The wise men of the 1st century were reading the scriptures and watching the heavens. They saw a star that they may have recognized as worthy of consideration based on Numbers 24:17. They begin an arduous trip into a dangerous land ruled by a dangerous king. Ln contrast, the 21st century wise men, based on worldly judgement, don’t seem to use scripture as a reference in any of their processes of discovery. Who then should be considered the wiser and should this be concerning to us?