What Made the Wise Men Wise?
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Most of us are familiar with the account of the wise men in Matthew 2:1-12. They traveled at least 750 miles on their journey to find the one who would be born King of the Jews. Assuming an average camel speed or 25 miles per day would make it a 30 day trip…each way. They seem to the only ones who are aware of what was about to happen. They didn’t have any “inside information” that the Jews didn’t have, yet they were convinced that something wonderful was about to happen and they didn’t want to miss it.
AS I SEE IT
I don’t see the wise men as wise because they had figured out when the Christ would come (according to the prophecies of Daniel). Nor were they wise because they had as answer for every question or because of a superior intellect. I see them as wise because they knew the right question. The asked, “Where is he who is born King of the Jews?” Their question showed that they truly understood the significance of the one they were seeking.
They were seeking a man to worship. This may not seem significant until we realize that their world was full of pagan deities demanding their worship. None of these were men. They also understood that this man was divine, a man born as a king of the Jews. No man is born a king. He may be born into a royal family, he may be born a prince, or he may be born to be a king some day, but only the one they sought was born as a king. He was both the Son of God and as much God as the Father.
They also understood that his identity went beyond being a man and God. He was from the nation of Israel. Why would they make that long and difficult trip to worship a Jewish king in the insignificant land of Israel? The answer can only be that they believed the prophetic words of God. If God said it, it must be true whether they understood the significance or not.
So, what was the ultimate purpose of their journey? To worship the promised Messiah of Israel-the God of the universe in human form. They didn’t go out of curiosity or out of tradition. They went to worship Him.
What will you do with Jesus this Christmas?