Stirrings to Move Out
First of all, they saw the star in the east. And they came to Jerusalem. They could have stayed in their homes and rejoiced at the thought that they had been fortunate enough to see the star of the king. But they moved out. They could have sent messengers to greet the new king. But they set out on their own. They seemed to know that the sign of the star was just a symbol of the greatness and glory of the new-born king. It is a challenge to us that they were not satisfied with the symbolic appearance of the star. They wanted to see the reality to which the star pointed. So they moved out to meet the Child-King. So also, let us set out and make an honest all-out effort to meet this king. Let us not be satisfied with anything less even though it is something as bright and spectacular as a moving star.
Now let us continue with the wise men on their journey. Like in any other journey that we take to an unknown place, they too might have asked for directions. But this time they had a conflict. Though it is not mentioned we can know that it happened. They had a choice to follow the guiding star or go to the palace of the king on their own. In this matter of choice human wisdom got the upper hand. They might have thought: “Where else would a king of the Jews be born but in the palace in Jerusalem, the capital city of the Jews?” So they turned to the palace. It is quite probable that they in their excitement had taken their eyes of the guiding star!
How often this happens to us! We move on a spiritual journey. And Christ is our guiding star. But when we take our eyes off Him, we end up at wrong places. Let us therefore never take our eyes off Him.
Detour and Restart
As the Magi found themselves in the palace with no sign of the new-born king, how perplexed they would have been! What thoughts could have crossed their mind! They might have wondered why King Herod was disturbed. They might have thought about the guiding star and their failure to observe its movement as they neared Jerusalem. They might have also wondered whether they will ever see the star again or more importantly will they ever see the child-king!
Even though they had made a detour in their journey they learned an important information there. They learned that the new king was prophesied to be born in Bethlehem. So with a renewed hope they continued their journey. And then they saw the star again. How their hearts might have warmed at the sight: “When the saw the star, they were overjoyed” (Matthew 2:10 NIV).
Think about it. Why were they overjoyed? Was it not simply because they were dejected that they missed the way by not following the star when they turned to the palace? Definitely they might have had no hope of seeing the star again after coming out of the palace. But God had other plans. He wanted them to complete the journey they had begun. He wanted them to meet Jesus.
Oh, many are the times that we get sidetracked in our journey! Many are the times that we go astray! But our God will help us see the guiding star again. He will cause our hearts to be overjoyed at that sight. He will yet again lead us in the right direction; till we come to where Jesus is.
And when the wise men saw Jesus, they bowed down and worshiped Him. They also opened their treasures and presented Jesus with gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.
What a lesson! The only appropriate response when we meet Jesus is worship. They found Him as a child; but they worshiped. Let us prepare our hearts to worship Him this Christmas. That means that we see in this Christ-Child the King of this universe. And He deserves our worship.
We are more interested in presenting our offerings and gifts to God. Though it is good; there is something that should go before that. As we look at the wise men, we find that before they presented their gifts to Jesus, they worshiped. That means they gave themselves to Him first. They gave their hearts to Him in undivided loyalty to Jesus. Then came their gifts.
God loves this order always. He would love us to give ourselves in worship to Him first. Then as a sign of our love and adoration we can present Him with gifts. It is, “FIRST WORSHIP, GIFTS ONLY NEXT.”
Let us now come to the close of the wise men’s journey. Once they met Jesus, they were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country by another route.
Anyway, who wants to meet an earthly king after having met the Heavenly King?