“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2 (NIV)
There’s a delightful Christmas song by Gary Miller with the chorus: “Wise men still seek Him and follow His star. Kings come to worship from near and from far. Like Christmas day He’ll be born in your heart. Seeking the Saviour – a wise one you are.”
In an audience with King Herod the wise men ask, “Where is the one who has been born the king of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2). That’s a fascinating question and it reveals why the wise men embarked on an uncertain journey, with unseen dangers, following an unknown star. The wise men crossed trackless deserts and faced formidable odds at tremendous cost because they knew the importance of finding a virtually unnoticed King. Maybe that’s why we call them ‘wise men.’ They were wise because they made every effort, in faith, to find the One they’d never seen.
Seeking Christ can be a difficult journey. The wise men squared off against a quagmire of obstacles: In their trek from somewhere in Asia they didn’t have the luxury of a Greyhound bus, a dual carriageway, bridges across the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, restaurants and washrooms along the way, or a guarantee of safe passage. When they arrived in Jerusalem none of the locals seemed to know where Christ could be found. Herod, more concerned about keeping his throne, had little time for foreign dignitaries seeking a potentially rival king. And the local clergy? Though they knew where Christ would be (cf. Matthew 2:6) they snubbed the wise men and apathetically refused to get involved.
But the wise men pursued their quest for Christ despite rebuffs, difficulties and discouragement. They knew that wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook, that perseverance is essential when we undertake a journey, and that the cost is negligible so long as we reach Him.
Those who persevere in seeking Christ are always rewarded. The wise men left Jerusalem “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 worshipped him” (Matthew 2:9-11).
The whole point of the wise men’s search for Christ is to proskuneo him. This Greek word for worship literally means, “I come towards to kiss.” The wise men didn’t hold back. Ecstatic at finding Him, they unashamedly adored Him. Seeing the infinite in the infant they subordinated lesser things to the greatest thing – they rejoiced in finally meeting the King!
Prayer: Almighty God, help me to stop at nothing, to pursue one thing – to worship the King. – Amen.