Summary: This message follows the wise men as they follow the star to Jesus. All of us need direction. This message shows us how to find it.
“Follow Your GPS!”
The story of the wise men has always been surrounded by mystery. When we look at the scripture we find that there are several questions we cannot answer from the Biblical text. For example:
how many were there? We don’t know.
Where did they come from? We don’t know.
How long did the journey take? We don’t know.
The wise men seem to show up suddenly out of nowhere and just as quickly they are gone. Scripture doesn’t give us very many details-perhaps we don’t need them-after all the wise men are not the focus of the story-Jesus is. But one thing I am certain of is this. Just as the wise men did 2000 years ago, wise men and women still follow Jesus. And instead of focusing on what we don’t know about these men let’s look at what we do know.
First of all a wise man’s journey is a journey of faith. Listen to the question they asked..”where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East. When I read this I think what would cause someone to leave behind safety and security to go on a mission as dangerous as this one? They didn’t know where they were headed. They had o idea what would happen on the journey. They didn’t know how long it would take. So why would they do it? Some might for money but there was no pay involved. They did it because of their faith. There is no doubt in the words they use that He has been born...their question was simply where is He? They had seen the star. All the evidence was there. Now all they wanted to do was find Him. So they were willing to risk everything they had to find Jesus.
Can you imagine the reaction of their neighbors and friends? Hey wise man are you going on a journey? Yes we are. Where are you going? Ugh we don’t know for sure. How far is it? Well we don’t know that either. Well how long are you gonna be gone? Don’t know. Boy for wise men you sure don’t know much do you?
But they must have said those same things to Abraham when he left his home for the Promised Land. In fact when God called out Abraham He told him, leave your country, leave your people...leave your Father’s household and go to the place where I will show you. And the Bible then says “so Abraham left “as the Lord told him.” They must have said the same things to Noah when God told him to build a boat 450 feet long on the backside of a desert when it had never rained before.
And again when Peter, Andrew, James and John left their jobs and family to become “fishers of men.” Why would anyone do these things? Because following God is a journey of faith. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way: “it is impossible to please God without faith.” Not difficult, not hard...impossible. People of faith have been willing to follow God for ages when they didn’t have all the details. A wise man’s journey is a journey of faith.
2. A wise man’s journey involves worship. When the wise men went on this journey it was for the purpose of worship. They brought with them three gifts...gold, frankincense and myrrh. Look at what these gifts represent.
* Gold represents wealth. Gold is a gift that is fit for a king. It reminds us that God deserves our very best.
* Frankincense. Frankincense is mentioned 17x in the Bible. It was used as incense during prayer. It was used in sacrifices.
* Myrrh. Myrrh was used to anoint every part of the tabernacle in the OT. Myrrh was poured on the feet of Jesus just a week before his death. So all of these gifts were appropriate because these wise men came to worship the King. A wise man’s journey involves faith. A wise man’s journey involves worship.
3. A wise man’s journey involves change. “Matthew 2:12 (NLT) But when it was time to leave, they went home another way, because God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.” It’s interesting to me that after they made this long trip...which was about 1000 miles that when they headed back their GPS said go this way instead. One of the tools on the internet that you can use to get somewhere is map quest. Just type in your starting location and where you want to get to and it will give you very detailed information. Someone at Google has a sense of humor because when you ask for directions from Japan to China there is a lot of detail, all the toll roads and so forth and then when you get down to the number 43...the 43rd piece of information it says now “jet ski across the Pacific Ocean.”