Summary: Using the story of the wise men to teach us how God seeks us and brings us to seek the Christ.
We can have knowledge of the Bible, we can even have religious convictions, we can even live out God’s commands to the letter and still miss the point. God is seeking a relationship with us through his Son Jesus the Christ, and he wants us to seek him. What we find out is that when we seek him, we will find him. Jesus once said, “Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened.” The author of Hebrews wrote
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6).”
And when we find him, meaning have a relationship with God through Christ, everything else falls into place. The magi were rewarded for their journey of faith to meet Christ.
When we come to church, when we live good lives is it because our primary focus is on seeking Christ, to search for him to try draw nearer to him? Or are we like the religious leaders in Jesus day who think that doing our religious duty is enough, following God’s commandments, being at church, maybe even knowing the Bible really well?
3) We need to worship Christ – Wise men offered valuable gifts, what do we offer God?
Worship is not an option with Christ. We need to worship him. Once the wise men reached Jesus it says the first thing they did was worship, just like the shepherds who had already visited Jesus and worshipped by singing praises to God. It says of the Magi:
NIV Matthew 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh
They bowed down and worshipped. One way to worship was to bow low before another. It signaled ones submission to the other as having authority over them. That is why today we say we must receive Jesus as Lord, because he is in control and we submit ourselves to him. We don’t see that too much in services today, I’m not sure why, we bow our heads in prayer, which is a similar sign of our submission to God, but our posture doesn’t show our humbleness before our King of kings and Lord of lords.
In any case they worshipped in another way. They presented an offering, three gifts were presented to Jesus as a sign of worship. Remember to worship also means to offering something. We worship when we give our offering, we worship by giving our time, we worship by offering ourselves to God. We worship by offering that which is valuable to us. The gifts which the Magi brought were very valuable, they were given at great cost to themselves. The Christ deserved a gift worthy of his kingship. The first of course is gold, a treasure deserving of a king. The second, frankincense was a fragrant scent offered up to God during sacrificial worship, it could only be offered to God by a priest (Jesus is called our high priest in the Bible). Lastly, myrrh was used as an oil to prepare a body for burial. In fact myrrh was used to embalm Jesus when he died (it is interesting to wonder if it was the same myrrh he had receive from the wise men). It was a gift symbolizing the preservation of life after death. It was a gift for a savior who would die for us all.