I have been thinking a lot about the wise men in the Bible, lately. I have always been drawn to the story of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) birth but the wise men have also especially intrigued me. I have always wondered what made them do what they did? They were not historically Godly men. They typically were considered wise men because they relied upon their worldly wisdom to guide others.
As I have been contemplating this, I realized that I am not all that much different than they are.
The wise men were not looking to God for a sign when they spotted the star. They were most likely reading the astrological signs. It was not because of their goodness that the Lord chose to shine before them. It was because of His! It’s the same for me. If God only came to me because of my goodness then I would still be waiting….but I am not.
The wise man had to make a choice once the star shone before them. They had to choose to make note of it, or follow it. We know they were not the only ones who saw it. Why did they choose to follow it? Why didn’t more choose to follow? Just like them, once the Lord reveals himself to us we have to choose to follow. I am sure many didn’t follow because they were afraid to leave everything behind. Maybe some didn’t follow because they questioned more than they believed. It says in the Bible that all are given a measure of faith. The wise men put their measure to good use when they chose the journey over their comfort.
Once they chose to follow they also prepared a gift for the King. Sometimes I don’t feel I have anything to offer, and sometimes I am selfish and don’t offer what I have. They chose neither of those options. What they gave was generous and without reserve.
Although rarily depicted, it says that once they found the Savior he was in a house, no longer in the manger. We don’t really know how long it took the wise men to find Jesus nor how far they traveled. It had to have been a test of their perseverance. It could have been upwards of two years. It reminds me that I have quit several times in my life when things were uncomfortable or difficult. I am sure chasing a star wasn’t the easiest task and yet they followed through to the end and were rewarded!
I can only imagine what seeing the Savior of the world must have been like for them. The warmth of His glory filling not only the room but their souls. The wonder it must have caused seeing pure hope wrapped inside such a little body. Somehow they must have known that nothing would ever be the same, in a good way! It is the same for us when we are exposed to the truth and raw majesty of the Savior. Yeshua (Jesus) clearly hadn’t given his life so that all men could be with the Father yet…but he revealed the Father in all he did.
After the wise men’s encounter with Yeshua (Jesus) they could receive direction from the Lord. The Lord revealed himself in a dream to them and told them not to return to Herod, but to return another way. They no longer had to rely on only earthly wisdom because once they saw and experienced the Savior, the voice of the Lord was familiar to them.
Although it may be somewhat of my imagination, I find it interesting how in the dream they are directed to go another way and they obeyed. What if it wasn’t just a geographic instruction? What if it also referred to their future? When I hear the voice of the Lord it is usually directing my heart not my location. What if he was commissioning them in the same way we are commissioned?
So the story leaves me with lots of questions that make me examine my heart in joy…
Am I open to see things I am not looking for? Am I willing to follow? Am I willing to give? Am I willing to be uncomfortable? Am I willing to hear? Am I willing to change?
I believe wise men still follow!