Today’s portion of the Christmas Story is one filled with wonder as we consider our All Wise God. Herod was an evil, jealous king who would do anything to protect his kingship.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. Matthew 2:1-9
Herod did not know of Jesus’ birth. Since the Magi had traveled from the east starting when they saw the Bethlehem Star in the sky when Jesus was born, their arrival could have been 1-2 years after Jesus’ birth. It would have taken considerable time to come from the east, perhaps Persia. It would have been customary to come to the current king to inquire of this new baby king-where he was. They probably thought Herod, the current king, would surely know where this baby was, however, He did not. So they continued their journey….. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. The gifts they brought were fitting for a king: gold, incense and myrrh. The myrrh was presented to Jesus at this birth and was also given to him at the crucifixion as it was a pain reliever. Jesus refused to dull his pain by taking any (Mark 15:23). Then the disciples used a mixture of spices and myrrh to prepare His body for burial (John 19:39). The wise men had followed the star for hundreds of miles, knew that God was directing them towards the new king and undoubtedly realized the greed and jealousy that Herod possessed. Herod had listened to them but had not been eager to come with them even the short distance to Bethlehem. He let them do the finding so then he could take care of this new rival king. So…when God warned, they listened and acted. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
God is wise. He is not simply all-knowing. He uses his knowledge to do exactly what is right. God’s Word is full of His wisdom. Both His plan of redemption which sent Jesus and His creation are perfectly wise. All wisdom comes form God. Job 12:13 ““To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” These traveling Magi or wise men came seeking the Savior. God in His wisdom led them to come at just the right time and to the exact place He had chosen. God protected both the men and Jesus’ family from evil Herod who He knew would seek to kill the babe. The wise men were truly wise as they listened to God.
What about you? Do you seek to know God and be filled with His wisdom that is in His Word? Do you have listening hears to hear God’s wisdom when He gives it to you in prayer or through His Word? Through faith in Jesus we can know God and understand the wise God we serve. Ephesians 1:7-8 In him(Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, Knowing Jesus opens up the wisdom of God to believers so we can read His Word with understanding, seek to know Him better and live a life filled with godly wisdom. Thank you Jesus.