“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, frankincense and myrrh.” — Matthew 2:11
Lots of great players and coaches have heroes they want to be like. For example, young wide receivers may watch film of Jerry Rice’s moves to find open spaces and study his training techniques. When someone is a Hall of Famer, even the very best current players can acknowledge their greatness and hope to be highly regarded at the end of their careers as well.
The Magi, or wise men, mentioned in Matthew 2 were wealthy, successful and revered in their day, but they knew Jesus was a King much greater in every way. And we have a testimony to the whole world that the wise men came from lands far away to honor and worship a holy Child, God in the flesh. This true story inspires us to bow and humble ourselves before Jesus as they did.
As we study the Scriptures, we get the idea that the wise men probably traveled many days, and perhaps a few months, following the star to where Jesus was. In the Old Testament, we see Balaam getting a vision of this great event thousands of years before it happened. “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17). And one of the psalmists spoke about several kings bowing before Christ. “May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him. May the kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts. May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him” (Psalm 72:10-11).
Because Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and the center of the Jewish world, the wise men went there first and asked questions of King Herod and the religious leaders, but students of the Old Testament knew that God predicted Jesus would come to the little town of Bethlehem. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).
When the wise men made it to see Jesus in person, they demonstrated attributes of true worship, including: dedication to the Lord, reverence for God, presenting offerings, and departing the house of the Lord with an intention to follow God. “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, frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11). It was revealed that Herod was intolerant of the threat of another king, and tried to take matters into his own hands (read the rest of the story in Matthew 2). But the Lord was gracious to the wise men and spared their lives by giving them a dream to escape.
When we come to know the greatest King of all time, we should not only be in total awe of Him, but also inspired to humble ourselves before Him and follow in His ways. May we have the same determined strength as the wise men to honor and worship the Lord through the dedication of our lives and our gifts for His glory alone. There is no better way to spend our lives than honoring and pursuing the one true King.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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