22 Dec Be Wise
Have you looked at a Nativity scene recently? Have you noticed anything out of place? One of the biggest misconceptions represented by modern day Nativity scenes is the presence of the three Wise Men at the birth standing around the manger. First, Scripture does not specifically state that there were three men. This has been assumed over the years because of the three gifts – gold, frankincense and myrrh. Second, Scripture does not mention that the Magi were present at the birth looking over baby Jesus in the manger, but rather that they followed the star and found the “young child” at the “house” implying that some time had gone by. Regardless of how many there were or the timing of their appearance there are some important lessons that we can learn from these “wise” men.
1. Don’t be afraid to inquire and search for the King. The Magi saw the star of the King of the Jews and they traveled to worship Him. They could have easily seen the star and went about their day or followed up at a later time but they knew the significance of the sign and they went searching for the King. We do not have to have any special astrological knowledge or take off on a long trek to find the King. We have Jesus all around us. He is right here with us. All we have to do is seek Him and we will find Him.
2. Bring our gifts to the King. When the Magi went to see Jesus, they did not go empty-handed. They went bearing gifts. Similarly, we should present our gifts to the King. Whether it be our tithes/offering, musical talents, spiritual gifts or our praise and worship; we should lay it all before the throne of Jesus. He is worthy of our best. Just as we present gifts to each other at Christmas, we should give Jesus the gift of our worship and of ourselves.
3. The Magi were obedient to the vision God gave them. God warned the Magi in a dream not to return to Herod, so they took a detour and went back home another way. Throughout our lives, God gives us warning signs to lead us in another direction. Like the Magi, we should be wise enough to heed God’s warning and to follow another path. We may not understand why God is leading us in a different direction but we must remember that He sees the road ahead of us.
This Christmas, let us not forget to seek the King and to bring Him the very best gifts of our worship and obedience. It is the wisest thing we can do.