What Can We Learn From the Wise Men in the Christmas Story? – Matthew 2:1-12

The Christmas carol says “O, come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.” Christmas is about worshipping Jesus. Life does not make sense unless Jesus is in His rightful place. Think about any nativity scene that you have ever seen. They come in all shapes, sizes, and cultures, but they all have one thing in common. Jesus is the center of it all! Could it be the problem in your life is that it’s not set up right? Jesus may be in your life, but is He pushed over to the side? Maybe He gets an hour on Sunday, but then something else is at the center of your life.

Sometimes we put the wise men in the center.  After all they are the largest and tallest, and they are beautiful and majestic. They represent fame, success, dreams, education, wealth. What are you living for? Money, achievement, fame, education, and popularity will all let you down. They never fully satisfy. The wise men help us understand what it means to adore Jesus and keep Him as the center of it all. How did they worship and adore Him?

They Seek After Him

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star at its rising and have come to worship him’” (Mt. 2:1-2). Who were the wise men?  They studied the heavenly bodies, the movement of the stars. They are called “Magi” where we get the word magic. They were religious men from the Middle East. Their present religion was not working for them. They saw His star and it got their attention. God knows how to get your attention. They were sincerely trying to figure out life. Maybe you are searching, genuinely seeking to know why you are on this planet. If so, you are in good company! The wise men traveled a great distance, from Arabia, through difficulty and danger. People who search for God start from different places. God will meet you where you are. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.” Until you get to the place that you adore Him you will continue to search. People say, “I tried the church thing and it did not work.” It has to get beyond the church thing to a personal relationship with Jesus.

They Bow Before Him

Verse 11 tells us that when the wise men finally got to Jesus, they fell to their knees and worshipped Him. It also tells us the wise men came to a house, not a stable. They saw the star the night Jesus was born, but the journey was long, and they did not arrive until Jesus was a toddler, between 1- 2 years old. You do not come to God as an arrogant professor or scientist but as a humble worshipper. The English word for worship means worth-ship. I am worth less. He is worth more. The Bible gives us examples of worship – clapping hands, lifting eyes, praising God, etc. When it came to direct contact with Jesus, they did not stand, raise hands, clap, or high five. They bow. I am all for all of these expressions of worship, but there comes a time when we bow in His presence. Everyone worships something. God has a no-compete clause. He says we are to have no other Gods but Him. Everyday idols compete for the throne of our lives: bank accounts, credit cards, smart phones, search engines, calendars, computers. What you worship, you love and give your time to. There is always something competing for your worship. Begin every day humbling yourself before God. The Bible says that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. More than a distant event, make it a daily experience.

They Give Their Best to Him

The second part of verse 11 tells us they gave Jesus gifts/treasures. True worshippers go all in. They were not going through the motions of church. They gave God their best. They did not let their disappointment of not finding Jesus in a palace in Jerusalem affect their giving. Maybe you are disappointed in God or in where He has you in life. Keep looking for God and give Him your best! Verse 12 says after this the wise men returned to their own country “by another route.” Certainly this was to avoid Herod, but I can’t help but know that they were changed. They met God and then traveled a different road. Wise people are willing to change direction. When you make Jesus the center of your life, it changes you.

What is in the center of your life? We recently had a vacuum cleaner that stopped working. What did I do? I talked to the company that made it and there was an exchange. They took the broken one and gave me a brand new one. God will do that for you! If your life is broken, go to the One who made you. If you’ve been searching and have come up empty, bow now. The star has stopped and worship can start. Invite Jesus to be in His rightful place.

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