LESSONS FROM THE MAGI
"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him . . . "
The whole text is a little too long for me to include here so you might want to grab your Bible and check out the rest of it. And yes, I know Christmas is already over. Did you know that it is quite likely that the Magi weren't there the night Jesus was born? In fact they may not have made the scene for quite a while. In any case, there are some lessons we can learn from them that transcend the Christmas season.
First, these men were very well educated and highly capable people. Clearly, even though they were not Hebrews, they had studied the Hebrew Scripture in enough detail to know what they taught about the coming Messiah. They seemed to know as much or more than the religious leaders in Jerusalem. The difference is that the Magi believed what knew about God's promises and they acted on that belief. I don't recall any record in Scripture, or literature, or art where the chief priests or scribes made their way to Bethlehem to worship Jesus! And the Magi also knew enough about the stars to recognize a new and different star when it appeared, not to mention plot its course. And then, without the aid of GPS or even decent maps, they made their way to Israel, probably from Persia. THE MAGI MADE GODLY USE OF THEIR TALENT!
Second, the Bible doesn't give us specific information about how long it took the Magi to get to Bethlehem and back home again but it may have taken years. You remember that Herod asked them the exact time when they saw the star appear, and based on their information ordered all the baby boys two years old and younger killed. Why two years? It is probable that the time from the star's appearance till the Magi's arrival in Jerusalem was two years. That would make their journey a 4-year round trip. In any case, we know that these men were willing to put everything else in their lives aside for the sole purpose of taking time to worship Jesus! THE MAGI MADE GODLY USE OF THEIR TIME!
Third, the Magi brought gifts to the Christ child. And they weren't small gifts; what they offered was costly - worthy for a king. And we should note that there is no self-serving motive here. Their giving was a pure act of worship. These Persian Gentiles said plainly in word and in deed, "We saw his star in the east and we have come to worship him." They gave for the simple purpose of honoring Christ. THE MAGI MADE GODLY USE OF THEIR TREASURE!
The Magi are honored today because they willingly and joyfully gave their talent, time, and treasure to Christ. They humbly came to worship Him and acknowledge His Lordship. They held nothing back but poured all they had into their journey; and for this we call them "wise." Friends, I encourage you and challenge you to be equally wise in your service and your worship of the Lord Jesus.