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The Christmas Story: Starring the Wise Men



In the last post, we talked about Mary and Joseph, and dove into some of the emotions and struggles that they probably had faced. The more I studied them, the more I began to reflect on their faith and obedience to the Lord, and that only inspired me more. I'm challenged to trust God in the same way, even when my circumstances aren't according to my plan, and to keep praising Him even in the middle of difficult emotions.


Today, continuing the series, I want to dive into the wise men and how they were apart of the Christmas story. I want to try to see their journey through their perspective, and see how their story can be applied to mine, too.

 

The Greek word for wise men, or magi, is μαγοι (mάgoi), a word generally used to refer to a Persian man, who was usually something like a priest or astrologer. These "wise men", as we call them, studied the stars. That's probably why they were so fascinated with the new star in the sky that shined so brightly, and it also explains how they would know the prophecies linked to the Messiah's birth. Although there is the tradition of the three wise men, since there were three gifts given to Jesus, there is no historical proof there there were only three of them - there could have been many, many more.


In Matthew chapter 2, we are introduced to the wise men. At this point, Jesus has already been born (another interesting thing about the Magi - they didn't actually visit Jesus the night of His birth, they came after He was born, probably about two years later), and they had travelled to Jerusalem. These men went to visit King Herod, and had asked him, "Where is the one who had been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." (Matthew 2:2).


I find this so interesting. For some reason, these men were inclined to travel who knows how far to follow a star. They had a desire to find Jesus, the Messiah, and they did whatever they could to find Him, even if that meant dropping everything to take the long journey. They probably had families, jobs, other responsibilities, but their longing to find the king of Kings was greater than any other commitment they had.

It makes me wonder - what would I give up to follow Jesus?


Would I drop everything to go and follow Him?


How much would I surrender to pursue the Lord?


What would it take for me to let go of all I am and lay it down at the feet of Jesus? What would it take for me to commit my journey to Him? What would it take for me to journey with Him?


There's a good chance that the Magi were pagan (which means they didn't follow God), but even still, they sought after the Lord and shook up their entire lives to do so. This wasn't a weekend trip, guys. This was a significant amount of time, dedicated to finding the Savior. And it didn't even end there.


After meeting with King Herod, the wise men continued on their way, following the star and searching for Jesus. And when they arrived at the house, where the star was leading them, they were overjoyed. They saw young Jesus and His mother Mary, and brought them lavish gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They even bowed down and worshipped Him as the Lord of lords, King of kings.


In their search for the Messiah, they found Him, and Scripture tells us that when we seek the Lord, we will find Him too (Jeremiah 29:13). When they finally found Him, after their long journey, they were filled with so much joy and peace. And they responded to meeting Him by worshipping Him, generously giving Him gifts and physically bowing down before Him, acknowledging Him as the Savior of the world.


Friends, I am so so so moved by the Magi and their journey to the Lord. Why? Because I see so much of us, our journey to Jesus, and how we should respond to Him.


Sometimes, our journey to really know Jesus, to truly find Him, is a hard, grueling one. Many of us have endured or will endured heartbreaking, life shaking situations that sort of force us to cling to the Lord with everything we've got. Knowing Jesus takes soul searching and sometimes long nights, where we doubt if we'll ever really feel His presence and experience all the blessings we've heard He's promised. Sometimes it's a hard journey to know the Lord, to fully surrender to Him. Just like it was a long, hard journey for the Magi to finally see Jesus.


But the journey is not hopeless, because He is waiting for us, and ultimately, He is even guiding us. We will come to know the Lord. We will meet Him face to face one day. We will experience His peace, freedom, and grace. We will, even if the journey is long and hard.


And once we do, we should be so moved to lay down all we are, all we have in worship and surrender to Him. The wise men were so overjoyed that all they could do was worship and give Him gifts. In the same way, we should purposefully praise Him for how far He's brought us, and give Him whatever we can. It may not be expensive, lavish gifts like the Magi were able to bring, but we can surrender all we are, whatever we have, in simple adoration and praise of our Savior. In the presence of Jesus, when we truly experience who He is, we will be humbled and in complete awe of our Lord, and we will bow down before Him.


The Magi remind me to seek the Lord with a renewed passion, a renewed commitment. The Magi remind me to surrender all I am at the feet of Jesus, and give Him the very best of what I have. They remind me of the joy I find in Jesus, and that even though the journey can be long, it is oh so worth it.

 

If I'm being completely honest, the Magi are one of my absolute favorite characters in the Christmas story. I find so much of my story, my testimony, in the Magi's journey, and it's so beautiful to continue to dive deeper into their response to meeting Jesus. I know that every time I study the Magi, I find something completely new, and I hope that's the same for you.


Have you learned something new about the Magi through this post? What's a part of their story that really resonates with you? I'd love to hear down in the comments below!

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