In Matthew’s Gospel, he shares the journey of the three wise men from the east. In this story, two relevant circumstances arose from their arrival in Jerusalem.
First, they asked where to find Christ’s birthplace. They didn’t hesitate telling others their mission is worshiping the King of the Jews.
And as the result of their inquiry it caused trouble amongst the citizens.
Their message disturbed Herod, the king. Because God used strangers to announce the news of his King’s birth. This threatened Herod’s throne. So the king of Judea gathered the Jewish spiritual leaders asking them where this remarkable event took place. They answered Herod by sharing Bethlehem (Matthew 2:6) as God’s chosen town.
Even the residents of Jerusalem became terrified. Imagine living under Herod’s hard rule knowing he wouldn’t tolerate another king to invade his territory. And when those wise men disobeyed Herod, he took his rage out on the Jews by murdering their first-born boy’s ages two years and younger (Matthew 2:16).
The real revelation in Matthew’s three wise men story is how the Jews didn’t receive God’s word. On Christ’s birthday, God’s chosen people became numb to His presence. They forgot God’s prophesies because their spiritual leaders (the Pharisees) didn’t teach them God’s truth.
The Pharisees held Moses as the ultimate authority in sharing God’s word. They relied on his teachings and added unique traditions for their followers. But when those wise men came to worship the King of the Jews it fell on deaf ears. None of them remembered Moses’ words on God’s truth on the birth of Christ (Deuteronomy 18:18-19).
The time of Christ’s birth isn’t an accident. God knew the way His children believed needed to change. They became confused over the truth of God’s word because their spiritual leaders misled them. So the Lord used Gentiles to announce Christ the King.
God commanded those men to worship baby Jesus. So they traveled to a foreign land leaving behind the comfort of home and humbled them themselves to Christ the King (Matthew 2:11). Guided by God (star) these Gentiles glorified God by offering young Christ gifts.
I wonder if my faith is strong enough to do the same. Could I leave my familiar place and have the spiritual confidence to share with total strangers God’s message of salvation? Do I have trust in Christ to pick up my cross regardless of its burden and live in God’s will?
The three wise men are excellent examples of a faith in action anchored in an unwavering trust in God. Matthew allowed us to witness their unshakable reliance on the Lord and when we follow Christ with the same actions, our lives become spiritually whole.
How do you relate to the three wise men story?