Friday, November 05, 2010

Wise Men

2:1 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, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Matthew 2:1-12, English Standard Version

Wise Men

As I was reading through this Bible passage from Matthew 2, I asked myself, of what purpose were the wise men? We have read about them--we have even sung about them; what is their significance?

Though they often appear in manger scenes, it really was as late as two years after Christ's birth that the wise men appeared to Mary and Joseph. Look at the trouble they caused! Because they went to Herod, he had all boys two years and under slaughtered in the little town of Bethlehem.

But, let us stop for a minute and think about this. Was that their fault? Of course not! We know that through their visit to Herod, Satan stirred up the heart of Herod against the Christ child. We can understand Herod's actions of trying to murder a usurper to the throne, but why was this important to Satan?

Remember, while Satan was in the Garden of Eden, God told him that this child would bruise his head. Satan knew exactly who Jesus was--not just a child who would become king, but rather the holy Son of God and Son of Man.

God sent the wise men to Mary and Joseph for another reason. Knowing that Mary and Joseph needed to flee to Egypt, God sent them the means to go, through the expensive gifts of the wise men.

What can we learn from this? God not only leads us in the way we should go, but He also provides us with the means to achieve His purpose for our lives. Also, though Satan works against us, as the children of God, God will never leave us or forsake us. Satan is no match for God! However, he is definitely more than a match for us.

We should never underestimate his wiles as he tries to pull us from a close relationship with Christ. He is very effective, is he not? Look at the great temptations of the world all around us; if Satan can pull us to the things of the world, he knows that he can destroy our relationship with God, and the effectiveness of our testimony.

What of the wise men? As you think of them this day, understand that God calls us to complete service for Him, and He provides the means we need to accomplish that purpose.

What an amazing God we have!

God Bless You,

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