5The Wise men knew something was different about the star that shone in the night.  They had done their homework, per se, and they intellectually knew all the right things and had knowledge of the writings of the Israelites.  They knew these writings pointed to a king. These scholars wanted to dig deeper and it cost them their time, talents, and treasures.

You see one part that is overlooked often times about the Magi is that they had to leave everything they knew behind.  They left their homes, family, friends, and worldly comforts.  Now granted, they had a caravan but if any of you have done any traveling, you know that there is nothing quite like your own bed and having your own daily lifestyle and routine.  All of that had to be left behind to find the King.  Not many have been asked to leave it all, but I know many a called Pastor and family that have been asked to do so for the sake of God’s calling.  So what did the Wise men find at the end of their journey?

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 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. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. Matthew 2:1-12 NIV

They didn’t find a triumphant kingdom with a strong, mighty man sitting on a throne.  They did stop and talk to Herod but what they found there, though they didn’t know it at first, was a man who’s heart was dark with hatred and contempt for anything or anyone that would get in the way of his power and control.  Herod would stop and nothing to make sure this King of the Jews wouldn’t take His rightful place.  Herod, the one who should have been in the seeking the Lord mode, was as far from it as possible.  The Wise men went to the place that should have known where to find the King but found an empty heart and throne.  A kingdom that had no desire to know their real King.

Things weren’t going as planned for the Magi but what they did we can learn from.  They didn’t let the detours and destruction ruin their quest.  They continued to pursue the Star of Bethlehem to find the answer to the question of “who is this King?”  Once the Wise men found the child at the house with His mother and earthly father, they had to be faced with the fact that the King of the World was a tiny infant.  One with no worldly power, no worldly persuasion, just a humble little family in a lowly habitat.  Nothing fancy, nothing grandiose about it.  See, that is how God most often reveals Himself.  In the simple, in the lowly, in the common, in the still small voice.  What the Magi did was recognize that God was present in the Shack moments of their current lives and they worshiped the Lord in the midst of the unexpected.  They saw God in the humble even though He wasn’t what the worldly paradigms  and their own makings had caused them to seek.

The next huge step the Seekers did is astounding.  They gave the King what He deserved.  They gave Him honor, respect, faithfulness, and honest worship with their gifts.  They didn’t withhold the gift just because the one receiving didn’t meet up with some glorious human view, they opened their hearts and worshiped anyways.  God promises that if someone seeks Him, they will find Him.  That is exactly what the Wise men received.  They might have went looking for a worldly ruler but they were given the gift of seeing the Creator of the Universe, in human, frail flesh, accepting the praise and honor and gifts they presented.  In their giving, they received the best gift in return, the Grace of God.

The Magi, in giving their gifts, were given the Mercy and Grace and Love of God the Father.  They were given the opportunity to be presented with the soul saving Son, Jesus Christ.  When one is in the presence of the King of Eternity, and allowed into His presence, there is no greater gift because no human is worthy on their own merit.  God showed the Wise men that Jesus came even for them!  It wasn’t just for the Jews but it was for the Gentiles.  It was for all of mankind.

The Magi’s thoughts and plans took them on a journey that they weren’t fully prepared for.  What they expected and what they found were far from the normal world view.  They were met with twists, turns, evil intentions, and the likes but it didn’t stop God from being God and it didn’t stop them from pursuing who the King was and still is today and for all eternity.

How are you when your plans, hopes, dreams, and expectations get a sudden, swift change? Do you continue to pursue the King and sift through the rubble of your kingdom and proceed to the Shack of the Savior?  Do you allow life’s collision course to careen you off course or do you set your compass and sights on the Bible and staying true?  God has never failed a promise and He won’t start now.  Cling, like Job, to the Creator and never stop seeking and praising the King of all Kings.  Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised (Job 1:21 NIV).

 

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