Character of Christmas: Wise Men

character of Christmas square

Even though they are associated with the Nativity scene in modern times, the “Wise men” or magi or kings,  who came to worship Jesus were not actually at the birth scene. They came later to his house and worshipped him. Read the passage below to get the full picture.

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw 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. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact timethe star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

The character trait that I would like to highlight by these “kings” is wisdom. If there’s a trait to be found here it’s wisdom in making decisions. Take a look at the magi for a moment.

Wisdom to seek the Messiah.

Not only had these wise man travelled to see Jesus, they traveled a far distance. They made a determination weeks and maybe even months ahead to seek the Messiah. There is much wisdom to be found in making plans. They understood the journey would be long, time consuming and perhaps even dangerous. Yet, they left their kingdoms, homes, and comforts to seek out the TRUE King. This wisdom of planning a trip also meant exercising wisdom in reading signing along the way. God gives us signs to direct us in life but not to only give direction through life but to life Himself. The star’s light and even the providential protection they got in favor of Herod to continue the search was nothing short of God’s intervention in their lives because they were seeking His Son. God will bless us as we exercise wisdom in reading the signs He has given us in seeking the promised one.

Wisdom to worship the Messiah.

These men had come a long way not to just seek the Messiah, take a few pictures and be on their way home. no. They came to worship. They brought gifts. They offered something of value and meaning to the young baby King. Bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh was not only symbolic of who and all that Jesus represents but a perfect picture of showering love and affection on the God-man. It may be natural to bring gifts to a baby shower but these were no simple shades of blue to celebrate the birth of a baby boy. These were gifts to celebrate the God-man. These were gifts of worship. Wise people today still offer gifts of worship to the King to celebrate His coming, identity and authority in their lives.

Wisdom to obey God.

The wise men had been warned in a dream to not return to Herod but to find a different way back to their respective countries. They wisely heeded that instruction. Because of their obedience, Herod did not find or kill the baby Jesus, even though he slaughtered many babies in search of him. It is important to remember that God is worthy of our obedience. Earthly kings and authorities should obviously be respected however, when God speaks directly to us about a matter, obedience to God should always triumph. Wise people not only seek and worship God but they obey him in all things.

Thoughts to consider:

How are you seeking Christ after Christmas? What plans are you making for your future seeking of Christ next year?

What gifts are you bringing to Christ in worship?

What do these gifts symbolize to you and to God?

How is God demanding obedience in your life?

How does your obedience or disobedience affect the advancement of God’s kingdom?

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