Summary: lessons learned from the Wise Men
The story of the wise men visiting the Christ child is an intriguing one. These men began a long trip to Israel simply because a particular star was in the sky, alerting them to the birth of the king of the Jews. They traveled for several months finally meet the Christ child in person. I believe it is more than just a story meant to entertain us, it is meant to teach us something today, about seeking the Christ child. That is why I titled the sermon, “The Wise Still Seek Him.”
Of course I wonder what would have been different had the wise men been wise women?
1. They would have asked for directions before they arrived in Jerusalem to alert evil king Herod.
2. They would have arrived on time and helped deliver the baby
3. They would have cleaned the stable and brought something practical for the family– like a casserole, diapers, and baby wipes.
4. And there would have been peace on earth!
Seriously, there are Four Lessons the Wise Men Teach Us
1) God makes every effort to reach every person who is far away from Him. – God used the star to reach pagan Gentile magician/astrologers in order to bring them to Christ.
The first we read of these wise men is when they arrive in Jerusalem, the Jewish capital. It says, “Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." The wise men were on a mission, to find the newborn king of the Jews and worship him. What is fascinating about these men, is what they have to teach us about God, that God makes every effort to reach every person no matter how far away they are from him. First, we have to remember these wise men were likely Gentiles, and not Jews who had come seeking the king of the Jews. The Jews thought the promised Messiah was for the Jews, not the Gentiles. In fact, all the first followers of Christ were almost exclusively Jewish. The Christ was supposed to deliver them from their sins. He was supposed to deliver them from their oppressors, and yet the signal to the wise men was that God was calling them as Gentiles to the Christ. Second, they didn’t even share the religion of the Jews, they were Magi, which was a combination of a learned scientist with cultic astrologer. They knew science as well as magic. They were the most learned of their time, but they were still magician/astrologers, which were practices God specifically forbidden for his people.
What this tells us is that God never abandons anyone. There is never anyone too far gone. If God can reach pagan Gentile astrologers, he is still working on people who we may think are too far gone. God never gives up on anyone and he uses whatever means he can to help lead them to Christ. In this case God sent them a message using an astronomical event, a star, to signal to them that they needed to search for the child born as king of the Jews. Even though God said astrology is wrong, he still used the star to bring the wise men to Christ. God used a language they understood. Perhaps if an angel had appeared to them like the shepherds, it would have been misinterpreted, but God knew the best way to reach astrologers, was through a star. God used the star as a way to bring the Magi to Christ.
Remember not everyone is raised in the church, they don’t know church language, and they don’t understand their need to seek out Jesus. We are sometimes baffled why people don’t participate in church. Many times it’s because they have no foundation, it was not part of their upbringing. They don’t know they are supposed to seek him, and so God comes to us in ways we can understand, he makes it relevant to us where we are at. That is why God came in the flesh, so that he could be like one of us, and talk to the people in their own language, eat their food, experience their culture through their eyes, so that he could tell us of our need for him and seek him out. God expects us to do the same for others. God doesn’t want us to compromise our integrity or violate his commandments, but he expects us to be like him to use whatever means we can to reach people in a language they understand in order to bring them to Christ.
Think of a person, you think is too far gone. Someone you think will never come to Christ as their savior. Remember, God continues to love them and is still working on them, he wants to bring them to Christ. And he wants us to help him. We do this by seeing where God is at work in their life and help point out to them that God is trying to get their attention.