Summary: Even wise men can do dumb things. Why did these wise men ever stop in their journey and ask wicked King Herod for advice?
“The dumbest thing that a Wise Man can do!”
Even wise men can do dumb things. Why did these wise men ever stop in their journey and ask wicked King Herod for advice? Before we answer that question, let me begin with this statement: They were wise.
They were wise because…
1. They believed in the God of creation.
Unlike others in the scientific community, they never doubted that an intelligent God had designed the universe. They looked into the Heavens and believed that it was the handiwork of God.
Isn’t it strange that many, who believe themselves to be intelligent, do not believe in the intelligence of God?
God calls these wise men wise. They believed in the wisdom of God.
2. They believed that the Bible was the inspired Word of God.
There is only one verse of scripture that refers to a “star.” It is found in Numbers 17 and verse 24. This is the only verse that these wise men had to go on. It said that there would be a “Star of Jacob, and a “Scepter of righteousness.” That meant that there would be a star in Israel when the righteous king was to be born. These wise men were looking for that star because they believed that the Bible was the inspired Word of God.
3. They were willing to take up a cross and follow Jesus.
I can well understand why the Jewish Shepherds came to the manger. They had heard the birth announcement from the angel. They had seen a host of angels in the sky praising God. They were told where to find the babe. He was just down the hill. They could be there that very night.
That was not the case with these gentile kings. They had little revelation. But, in great love, they moved out on the little revelation that they had. Some suggest that they might have traveled the distance of a thousand miles. It took them, perhaps, a year and a half of caravan travel to make their pilgrimage, but they came! They were willing to take up a cross and seek for Jesus.
Now, I come to the heart of today’s message:
The dumbest thing that a wise man can do…
1. They stopped looking up.
As I read the Scriptures, it occurred to me that the star was still in the sky. As soon as the wise men got out of Jerusalem, the star reappeared.
What caused these wise men to stop looking up? In the daylight, they begin to notice the beautiful city of Jerusalem. Perhaps the beauty of the city itself became a distraction?
You too, will find yourself off track with God when you stop looking up. How is your daily devotional life with God?
2. They thought that they had arrived, prematurely.
Many people quit too early in their Christian walk. Only they do not consider it retiring, not quitting. It sounds better. I believed that God has a job for you to do, until he calls you home. Then, and only then, you can enter into your rest!
These wise men thought they had arrived as soon as they had come to the Holy City of Jerusalem. They had some miles to walk yet. It was too early to take off the sandals. Keep walking!
3. They had Assumed things that they ought not to have assumed.
We are told not to rely upon our own understanding. We are told, “in all our ways to acknowledge him.” (Proverbs 3:5) These wise men seemed to have assumed that certainly the King of Jews would be welcomed by the Jews. They must have also assumed that a Jewish King would have been born in the City of Jerusalem. All of this would make good human sense.
Problem, God’s ways are not our ways. We are not told to assume. We are asked to pray to, and to ask God for, his wisdom!
4. They asked for godly advice from an ungodly king.
Perhaps this is the saddest point of all. Unlike these Kings from the East, Herod was a wicked king. He would not be able to give them godly advice.
Why is it that Christian people look to the world and adopt amoral life styles? How sad to see the dress and the behavior of so many Christians who have Hollywood standards!
5. They expected the world to encourage them in their walk for Christ.
When the Jewish people heard their Messiah had been born, the Bible says that fear came over the entire city. These people had been blessed with the report of the witness of the Angels, the report of the Shepherds, and the entirety of the Old Testament Scriptures, and yet still they sought not Christ.
If you are waiting for the world to pat you on the back for your Christian walk, you will soon find yourself in utter discouragement!