By Christine Webb
Today we celebrate the great visit from the Wise Men – and I hope you’ll be encouraged from some lessons we can learn from this story.
Nobody really knows for sure what country the Wise Men came from. Some say they were from Arabia or Mesopotamia. Some say they were magicians from Persia (which would be Modern day Iran). Others say they were astrologers from Babylon (modern day Iraq). Scripture simply says they were wise men from the East. In fact, it doesn’t even say there were three of them as we often see in manger scenes. There could have been two or twenty. Here’s what we do know from scripture: they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. They were from the East and they travelled a long way following a star to find the baby who would be King.
We know that God met them in the midst of their circumstance in life. He met them right where they were. But God didn’t leave them there and when they found the King – Matthew 2:10 says they were overwhelmed with JOY. I like to say J.O.Y. stands for Jesus Overwhelms You!
See, when we find Jesus – truly find Him – we become overwhelmed with Joy and just like the wise men once we find Jesus He changes us and He leads us home on another road.
The Wise Men may not have known exactly where they were going, but God was with them every step of the way on their journey. Just as God was with the wise men, know God is with you too!
They were seeking the King following the star.
See when we seek the King – when we seek Jesus just as the wise men did – we will find Him. Jeremiah 29:13 says “When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart”
And when we find Jesus, we are radically changed and our paths may change. I never thought or imagined I would be on the road to becoming a Pastor. But when we seek Jesus, we find Him.
So what are some practical applications we can take away.
Let’s look at the Wise Men. What did they do?
They honored the King. Matthew 2:11 says they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
We can honor Jesus too – in the lives that we lead. We can honor Jesus in everything we do and say by acting in love and compassion.
John 13:35 says this: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Maybe that’s reaching out to a friend in need.
Maybe that’s sending a card to someone who has been down.
Maybe that’s volunteering at the Church.
Maybe that’s giving a smile or a hug to someone who needs it.
I challenge and encourage you today – take a different road this year - -transformed by Jesus’ love.
Today, we're invited to come to the manger once again with the Wise Men to honor Jesus.
Be Wise. Start this new year on a new journey –being more intentional to serve and love like Jesus because Jesus so loves you!
Christine Webb/Asbury Theological Seminary