Friday, December 15, 2023

The Men Who Followed a Star

When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! (Matthew 2:10 NLT)

Who were the wise men? In the original language, the term that Matthew used for wise men comes from the Greek word magi. Our English words magic and magicians have their roots in this word. Thus, the wise men who came searching for Jesus were into astronomy, astrology, and occult practices, including sorcery.

In the Medo-Persian and Babylonian Empires, so-called wise men were summoned during times of emergency. The king would call in the various occult experts who could supposedly interpret what was happening. This was the position that these men held.

When they arrived in Jerusalem, they would have been the equivalent foreign dignitaries. They were men of great importance and highly educated.

However, the Bible doesn’t tell us there were three wise men or that they rode camels. It doesn’t even give us their names. What we do know is they were not present at the birth of Christ, because by this time, Jesus, Joseph, and Mary were in a house—not a stable.

Matthew 2:11 says, “They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (NLT).

This event happened one to two years after the birth of Christ. There may have been six wise men, or there may have been nine. It doesn’t really matter. But they came and worshiped, and they brought their gifts to Jesus.

It seems strange that at this moment, these men seemed to have more spiritual insight than the religious leaders who had dedicated themselves to the Scriptures. Though the wise men were into occultism and astrology, it appears that deep down inside, they wanted to know the truth.

Therefore, God came to them in a way that they could understand. They were into stars, so God brought them a star that would lead them to the truth.

God clearly was not condoning astrology, occultism, and the rest of it, because Scripture clearly condemns these. But God came to them where they were and brought them to the truth. They left what they were doing and came to the true and living God.

Isn’t it wonderful how God reaches out to each of us as individuals? He manages to reach hardened gang members in their lives of violence and show them their need for Christ. But He also reaches successful business leaders and shows them their need for the Lord. And He reaches young children and shows them their need for Jesus too. He comes to each of us on an individual basis in a way that we can understand, and He unfolds His truth to us.

Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God said, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me” (Jeremiah 29:13 NLT).

If someone really wants to know God, they will find their way to Jesus. And if people don’t find their way to Jesus, do they really want to know God? God will reveal Himself to true seekers.

Copyright © 2023 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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