Three Things The Wisemen Teach us
The story of the wisemen teaches us three wonderful things about the Christian faith. In this story we discover that...
1. God reveals himself to those who seek him.
(v. 1-2) After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 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.”
Throughout the year I will post on what is happening in the night sky. This past week I noticed that Jupiter (the king planet) would be located near the constellation Taurus the Bull.
I commented on FACEBOOK that the Jews in Old Testament times sacrficed the bull for the sin offering. I correlated this with Jesus the King coming to earth to be our sin offering.
Because of city lights, most people are unaware of what is happening in the heavens. However this was not the case in the first century. The Jews could have seen the star. The Pharisees and Sadducees could have seen it. Herod could have seen it. Anyone who looked to the sky could see this magnificent star shining brightly, yet only the Magi followed the star in order to find Jesus.
And find him, they did, because that's how God is. He reveals himself to those who are looking for Him.
It is not an insignificant detail that the Magi weren't Jewish. It is not an insignificant detail that they were priests of another religion. By this God is telling the world that Jesus is not just the King of the Jews, but he is the Savior of all of humankind.
It doesn't matter if you're Jew or Gentile, if you're black or white; if you're rich or poor, male or female, North American, African, Asian, European. None of this matters.
This story teaches us that God will reveal himself to anyone who seeks Him.
When Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “what is truth”, little did he know that he was staring truth right in the face.
....When you search for me, you find me; if you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
For the magi this is exactly what happened.
Here's the second thing this story teaches.
2. God speaks to those who will listen.
(v. 12) And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
I find this interesting. God spoke to these men through the stars, and then he spoke to them through a dream.
The important thing is that they were paying attention. They chose to listen. It was a choice they had to make. They could believe that God was speaking to them, or they could decide it was their imagination. It takes faith to believe that God is speaking to you, and it takes faith to act on that belief.
There are two ways to look at it.
One person might say "God spoke to me in a dream," while another says, "I dreamed that God spoke to me." Do you see the difference? One is driven by faith, the other by skepticism.
In order to have a dynamic relationship with God, we must embrace the belief that God speaks to those who will listen.
How does he speak to us? First of all, God speaks to us through the Bible. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). He speaks through the Holy Spirit. God speaks to us through the preaching/teaching of his Word.
Peter Lord tells a story about visiting a church while on vacation.
He was hoping to hear a dynamic sermon and was disappointed to discover that a young and inexperienced associate pastor had been invited to preach that Sunday. And, to his dismay, Peter said that the young man didn't appear to be a very good preacher. But something amazing happened that Sunday morning. God spoke to Peter Lord through the sermon. God's will was revealed to him and God gave him direction for his life.
The preaching and teaching of the Bible is sacred. Most preachers and Bible teachers know that even our best efforts fall drastically short of the mark as we strive to communicate the greatness of God.
And yet, God is able to use our feeble attempts to speak to those who are listening to His voice.
God also speaks to us through many other sources.
We cannot limit the way God chooses to speak to us. He may speak to you through the counsel of a close friend, or through your parents, or through your children, or through an event, or through a book, or during a time of devotions, or while you're watching the news...or anytime that you are listening for God's voice to give you direction.
God spoke to the wisemen through the stars and through the dream, and everything he told them was consistent with Scripture.
God may speak to you through a dream. When he does, it will confirm -- and never contradict -- what he has spoken in his Word.
Here's the third thing I want you to see.
3. God leads those who will follow.
(v. 9-10)...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.
The star led the wise men to Jesus.
If you are willing to let God lead you through the day-to-day events of your life, He will do it.
The road may not always be easy, but he will lead you if you're willing to follow.
E. Stanley Jones tells of a missionary who got lost in an African jungle --nothing around him but bush and a few cleared places. He found a native hut and asked the native if he could lead him out. The native said he could. "All right," said the missionary, "show me the way." The native said, "Follow me." They walked and hacked their way through unmarked jungle for more than an hour. The missionary got worried. "Are you quite sure this is the way? Where is the path?" the native said, "In this place there is no path. I am the path."
There are times in our lives when we find ourselves in situations which offer no clear-cut answers. It is at these times we can trust ourselves completely to God, knowing that he will lead us each step of the way.
The truth is, he wants to lead us more than we want to follow.
Today's scripture is certainly not new to any of you.It is a story we have heard since we were children. It's a story we hear every December. But this is not just a Christmas story. It is a gospel story. It's a spiritual life story. The story of the wisemen offers insight into the nature and character of God, and how He relates to us. The story of the Magi teaches us that this is not about religion. It's not about race or ritual. It's about a relationship with the God who loves you.
Do you want to know God? Do you know what he's really like? Seek him, you'll find him.Listen for his voice, and he'll speak to you. Be willing to follow, and he will lead you every step of the way, every day of your life.
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