What Made the Wise Men Wise (Part 2)
Yesterday we took a look at the wise men in the Christmas story. If you missed part one of this blog series, you can READ HERE.
What made the wise men wise?
3. They didn’t stop until they met JESUS.
That’s what made them wise. If you’re wise and you’re seeking, you will not stop in your investigation until you meet Jesus.
Matt 2:10-11a When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.
Have you finally come to the place where you’ve met Jesus? If you haven’t, I hope you’ll meet him this Christmas season. Have you come to that place in your life? If you haven’t yet, do not stop seeking.
The wise men are seekers of the truth, they’re willing to go to any length to know what is the truth about God and about me and about life? And they are willing to keep on going even across the desert – you may be in a desert right now – until they meet Jesus.
4. They came for the right REASON.
They come on the search for truth, on the search for Jesus, they came for the right reason.
Matt 2:2 “we have come to worship him.”
Why were they looking for Jesus? They were looking to show gratitude. They were looking to show honor. They were looking to worship him. They were looking to express their love.
We serve at his command, not vice versa. We exist for him. God does not exist for us. God is not a vending machine. A lot of people want to use God and not love him. Politicians use God to win votes. Business leaders will use Jesus to get God’s blessing on their business. Marketers will use Jesus to sell products. Military will use Jesus to justify wars. We use Jesus all the time to justify our self-centeredness and to meet our needs.
They came for the right reason. “We came to worship him.”
5. They gave Jesus the BEST they had.
They didn’t give him their leftovers. They didn’t give him the last minute gift card. They put serious thought into their gifts. When they came to Jesus, they came for the right reason and they give Jesus the very best they have. And they planned their gift. Every one of the three gifts the wise men give has significant meaning and symbolism.
Matt 2:11b they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
What is the significance behind gold, frankincense and myrrh? Gold is the gift for kings. In all of antiquity, if you went to go see king you, brought him a tribute of gold. Gold was the most precious metal. When you went to see a king, as tribute you say, “Here’s some gold.” So they’re saying, “He is the king. This little baby is the king of kings.”
Then they bring frankincense. Frankincense is the incense that was used in the temple for the worship of God. So they’re saying, “this little baby is no mere baby. We know. We’ve come a long way. He’s not only the king of kings, he’s God. He’s worthy of our worship.” So they’re giving him frankincense because that’s the gift they would light in the temple for the worship of God. He’s God.
The third gift is the most unusual, strange baby gift. Any woman who got this at a baby shower would be shocked. Because myrrh is the spice used in antiquity to embalm dead bodies. It’s the burial spice. When a person had died, they would use myrrh on their body and they would wrap them in linen and put them in the grave. The wise men are saying, “This baby is going to die. He’s not just the king of kings, he’s not just the Lord of lords, he’s not just God worthy of worship. He’s the savior who came to die.”
Jesus did not come to earth to live. He came to earth to die for our sins so we can go to heaven. So we can live a new life.