Crossing
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Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
The Wise Men Saw
by Jenny on December 20th, 2017

"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." Matthew 2:2

Every Christmas, as I read the account of Jesus' holy birth, a different part of the story captivates me. One year it was Mary. After learning that God had chosen her to bring His Son into the world Mary simply replied, "May it be done to me according to Your word." (Luke 1:38) Another year I dwelt on the name "Immanuel, which means 'God is with us.'" (Matthew 1:23) This year, my heart continues to return to the account of three wise men.

Details of Jesus' birth are actually recorded throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament portions of the Bible. In the New Testament, the book of Luke records the account of shepherds who traveled to see Jesus the night of His birth. But Matthew, in his book, shares with us the account of a different group of people who traveled to see Jesus--the magi, commonly known as the wise men. Both groups of visitors were moved--literally--by a desire to worship the baby King. News of Jesus' birth was announced to the shepherds by angels. But the wise men knew about Jesus' birth because they were watching, waiting in great expectation for such an event to occur.

Forgive me for stating the obvious but in the days of Jesus' birth there were no computers. No Facebook, no Instagram, no Snapchat, no phones, no cameras, no texting, no e-mail, not even snail mail (now camel mail, maybe). No television, no Netflix, no X-Box, no Nintendo. More than a lack of entertainment devices, the world existed without electricity (gasp!). No lights at night except that which glowed from the flicker of a candle or from the sky. What did people do at night? They looked at the screen which God had placed before them--a canvas of celestial figures, each created and named by God for God (Psalm 147:4). (And the people of old probably slept a few hours more than us too.)

No one announced the birth of Christ to the magi in person. The wise men knew Jesus had arrived because God announced it through Creation.

As indicated by their name, the wise men were wise. They studied. They spent their life studying what God had done, and all God promised to still do. And because they studied, and because they watched, and because they were familiar with the ways and promises of God, the wise men saw when God revealed the Christ-child to us.

"Where is the newborn king of the Jews?", the wise men asked. "We saw His star as it rose, and we have come to worship him." (Matthew 2:2, NLT)

The wise men saw. But others missed it. The book of Matthew tells us that King Herod, the Roman-appointed king of Judaea at the time of Jesus' birth, was "deeply disturbed" when he heard the news of Jesus' birth. Herod didn't know about the birth of Jesus until the wise men inadvertently told him. Herod sat under the same night sky as the wise men. Okay, maybe he sat slightly further to the west, or maybe he sat under a host of servants waving palm tree branches over him to keep him cool at night. But Herod had the opportunity to sit under the same night sky as the wise men. Herod had the opportunity to study the same Torah as the wise men. But Herod was too self-consumed, too prideful, too self-sufficient, or maybe just too busy ruling a country to search and to study the ways of God. But because he was too distracted by the world around him, he failed to see what God announced through the world around him.

Romans 1:20 tells us that God uses nature to reveal His Nature to us. That is why creation itself is not worthy of our worship. Creation points us to the One who is worthy of our worship. We don't have to know the names and shapes of all the stars to see God. We don't have to be as wise as the wise men to see God. We just have to be wise enough to seek Him.

Deuteronomy 4:29 reads, "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul."

Jeremiah 29:13 promises, "You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."

Psalm 34:4 says, "I sought the LORD, and He answered me."

Matthew 7:8 tells us, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

The business of life, particularly during the Christmas season, threatens to distract us from the Giver of life. We long to see God at work, but we feel as if we can't see more than two feet in front of us. Oh Father, help us to prioritize our time with You. Help us to study that which You have revealed to us in Your Word about all You have done, and all that you promise to still do. Give us the desire to seek You above all else. Then we will see what the wise men saw.


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Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

Do you have a relationship with God through Christ? If not, I would consider it pure joy to tell you about God, why you need Him, and how to be reconciled to Him through Christ.

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Visit the following link to read or search through Jenny's posts dating prior to August 2014. www.jennyhander.blogspot.com