Wise men sought to find and worship the newborn King. Wise men and women still seek to find and worship the King.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem. saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
When Herod the king heard this he was troubled and all Jerusalem with him. And when he gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
Don’t you find it interesting that all the people of Jerusalem, the chief priests, and the scribes, i.e. God’s chosen people, responded to the news of the King of the Jews’ birth negatively? As a result, we see their reaction wasn’t excitement for the long-awaited Messiah.
Maybe they were troubled because…
They weren’t first to know about His birth, but instead wise men from the East knew first. Or, possibly life was going pretty good in Jerusalem, and they thought this newborn King would disrupt their world. Another possibility is that they wanted Him to come according to their terms so they could fit Him into their world how they thought best.
There’s a long list of maybe’s we could discuss, but I think their problem may have been very much like our own. They wanted to be in control and so do we. In reality, our first reaction to the possibility of losing control is usually not excitement. We too, are troubled and tend to over-rate control and under-rank Jesus. The most blessed fulfilling life we will ever live is giving Jesus control of the things we most desperately cling to control – our kids, our jobs, our ministries, our spouses, our finances…
Wise men and women worship the King.
Maybe the difference in the wise men and God’s chosen people was worship. Worship happens when we acknowledge that there is an all knowing, infinite God greater than ourselves, with abilities beyond our own, and a better plan than our own. Our desire to stay in control hinders worship. Worship comes when we know God’s control in our lives provides safety, security, and abundant blessing.
We read in Matthew 2:4 that King Herod asked the chief priests and scribes who would know the Scriptures about the birth place of the Messiah.
So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah: for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.
They quoted the Scripture that they knew all too well but it was the wise men who believed Scripture and came to worship the “Ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” Someone who worships the Shepherd follows the Shepherd. These wise men were not concerned about control. They longed for the shepherd.
Wise men and women long for the Shepherd.
The beauty of the sheep and the Shepherd:
- Sheep are numbered and known and protected and prodded by their Shepherd.
- The sheep identify with and find their direction from their Shepherd.
- The Good Shepherd seeks his lost sheep, fights for His sheep, and gave His life for His sheep.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
Jesus protected His sheep to the death and through His death. He gave everything to protect His own from the thief’s destruction and give them abundant living. Wise men and women choose the Good Shepherd’s plan.
Check out the comparison:
- Thief’s plan for your life = steal, kill, and destroy
- Good Shepherd’s plan for your life = more abundant life
What will you choose?
…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing;
therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.
Make us like the wise men. Help us be women who delight in Your control that we know You as the Good Shepherd and the blessed, fulfilled life Your control affords us! In Jesus name, Amen!