Why the wise men were wise

There is a remarkable account of what happened a few years after Jesus’s birth.  This account tells us about Jesus’ being a King and it is the visit of the magi or wise men.

The wise men were not Jewish, but they were revered, learned men who had heard of the ancient Jewish prophecy of the coming of a great king.

The wise men certainly did many wise things:

1. They asked the right question

The magi came to Jerusalem and asked,

“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.” (Matthew 2:2)

They asked: Where is the King?

In our world today people are asking a lot of questions. How can I be happy? How can I make the best of life? How can I provide for the future? What happens when I die? Does life have meaning?

These are all good questions.

But there is a more fundamental question that enables us to answer these others questions: where is the King?

If you have not found the King of the universe, all these other questions of life will be very difficult to answer.

The Magi asked the right question and King Herod was very upset because he fancied himself as the legitimate king.  King Herod then has all the toddlers in Bethlehem killed to destroy the competing king.  Herod wanted to be King himself – didn’t want a rival king to rule over him.

We’ve been hearing about the terrible bloodshed and destruction in Aleppo in Syria.  Various armies and groups, including the government of President Assad, are fighting for control, territory and influence. The trouble was that no group wanted to give up control or territory or influence.

We are like this.  We don’t want to give up control of our lives. We want to be our own rulers and kings – just like Herod.

But there is a new King, a far greater king.  We will never understand life unless we give up control over our lives and submit to him.

2. They followed the right direction

Originally the magi saw a star which lead them to Judea and the went to Jerusalem its capital, the most logical place for a king to be born.  In Jerusalem, they learnt that the Old Testament in the Bible prophesied that the Great King would be born, not in Jerusalem, but in Bethlehem.  So, they went to Bethlehem and found Jesus, not in a palace, but in a humble home.

The Bible led them to Jesus.

The Bible still leads us to Jesus today.  The Bible contains 66 books, written over 1400 years, by over 40 authors in 3 languages, yet with one unifying and consistent message centering on King Jesus.

Out of all the books on our planet, there is no book like the Bible.

What are you book are you basing your life on?  Maybe it’s the “book” of your own opinions?  I challenge you read and study the Bible and follow its lead.

3. They made the right decision

What did the Magi, these great and learned men, do when they saw the toddler?

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. (Matthew 2:11)

The Magi fell down and worshipped a toddler.

They then presented gifts of gold, frankincense, myrrh

In other words, the Magi laid down all that they were and all that they had before the King from God.  Worship is the proper response to Jesus.

The magi weren’t church people, they didn’t go up in Sunday School, they had no baptism certificate, they weren’t even Jews: they were outsiders!   But they heard about a promised king and they searched until they found him.  They made the right decision.

Have you searched and found Jesus?

The wrong decision would be to ignore Jesus and trying to run your own life.

The reality is: there is a king.  He was born; he lived; he was killed; and then rose back to life never to die again.  Jesus now reigns and rules from heaven.  It’s not myth or legend or fable.  It’s true. 

What will you do about it?

You can learn more about King Jesus and the Christian faith here