Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wise Men

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi (wise men) from the east came to Jerusalem 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.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

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. 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 and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (Matthew 2:1-12)

I love to read about Jesus' birth. In particular, I love to read about the excitement so many felt upon hearing news of his birth. What a glorious thing it must have been for those Jews of old to hear that their savior had finally been born.

I think it's interesting that the magi should be so often referred to as “wise men”. Here we have men of foreign lands traveling from afar to see, worship, honor, and even protect the son of the living God, the future savior of all the world. And they are called “wise”. I think that's interesting because they did not do anything different than Christians do today—to search out, see, worship, honor, and protect the son of God.

A wise man is indeed one who has Christ in his life. If we believe in the life and death and resurrection of God's son, Jesus Christ, we are spared an eternity of punishment, and are given an eternity of peace with God instead. Those who do not place their faith in Christ, are called foolish, for they bring punishment upon themselves. For all sin is punishable, but through Christ, all sin is forgiven.

At Christmas, we remember the birth of Jesus for this reason. We remember, because he loved us, died for us, and saved us from the clutches of eternal darkness and damnation.

Yes, it is wise to seek out Jesus. It is wise to accept the love, mercy, forgiveness, and hope which he offers us all so willingly.

Merry Christmas, everybody! I hope each and everyone of you a glorious day wrapped in the love and warmth of our magnificent, loving savior, Jesus Christ.

No comments: