Nana Yaw Aidoo
In the second chapter of the gospel account of Matthew, we have an account of some men from the East, who sought our Lord Jesus Christ when He was a baby, in order to worship Him. This incident plays a huge role in the nativity scenes and dramas of those who religiously celebrate Christmas. The nativity scenes portray the men as three people, who were present at the birth of the Christ in a manger. The Bible on the other hand, says a great, big nothing about the number of men, and plainly tells us that these men visited Jesus Christ in a house (Matt. 2:11),—not in a manger—about two years after the Christ was born (Matt. 2:7, 16). It says a lot that many would believe just about anything the Bible is alleged to teach, without verifying to see what the Bible actually teaches (Acts 17:11; 1 Thess. 5:21; 1 John 4:1). Little wonder so many believe that men are saved from their sins by saying a prayer or are saved at the point of faith, without further acts of obedience, all because they don’t care about their souls enough to verify what the Bible has to say on the subject of salvation (Matt. 15:14).
However, in spite of the abundance of errors that surround the religious celebration of Christmas, foremost among them being the lack of scriptural authority (Luke 22:19; Col. 3:17), the birth of Christ and the circumstances surrounding this miracle, are facts that have been recorded in scripture and thus are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” What then do we learn from these Eastern travellers who sought the Christ when He was a baby?
First, we learn that the men who sought Christ were wise men. It is written;
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him (Matt. 2:1-2).
The word translated “wise men” is Magoi. These Magi were men who ‘took their places among “the astrologers and star-gazers and monthly prognosticators” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary, p. 374). As to how these men knew to associate the unusually bright star with Jesus Christ, it is my studied conviction that men from the Eastern part of the then world (Job 1:3), had pristine knowledge of the incarnation (see Job 19:25). Quoting from Ellicott, William Smith noted that “everywhere throughout the East, men were looking for the advent of a great king who was to rise among the Jews” (ibid., pp. 375). Whatever the case might be, it doesn’t change the fact that these men who sought Christ are referred to as “wise men.”
In like manner, the Bible admonishes all men everywhere to seek the Lord. It is written; “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually” (1 Chro. 16:11). Surely, he is a “wise man” who follows in the steps of the Eastern Magi and seeks the Lord.
Second, we learn that these wise men sought Christ diligently. Opinions vary as to the country these Magi came from. However, the majority of scholarship agrees that they were either from Babylon or Medo-Persia. If it is the case that they were from Babylon, then it is likely the journey took about five months. This is because, after the Babylonian exile, when Ezra decided to travel to Jerusalem to restore primitive Jewish worship, it took him five months (Ezra 7:9). That is a long time to travel friends. From the sighting of the star to the making of the journey, no doubt required hard work. Never mind the expense of gold, frankincense and myrrh. All this diligence, effort and industry, in order to seek the “King of the Jews.”
In like manner, not only does the Bible teach us to seek the Lord, it also admonishes that we seek Him diligently. The writer of the book of Hebrews noted that God “is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). All who teach and believe that man needs to do nothing in search of the Lord and His salvation, are in for a rude awakening on the day of judgment. Surely, he is a “wise man” who follows in the steps of the Eastern Magi and seeks the Lord diligently.
Third, we learn that the wise men found Jesus Christ. The diligent search of these men yielded results and thus it is written;
When they heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him… (Matt. 2:9-11).
In like manner, all who diligently seek Christ with all their hearts will find Him. The Lord has declared; “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). About the Lord, David said to Solomon; “…if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee…” (1 Chro. 28:9). Oh, sinner friend, what are you waiting for?
Finally, we learn that the wise men after finding Christ didn’t go back to where they came from, the same way. Matthew records that after everything, “…they departed into their own country another way” (Matt. 2:12).
In like manner, all who seek and find the Christ will never return the same. The one who finds Christ will become “a new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17). The one who finds Christ will become a “servant of righteousness” (Rom. 6:18). And the one who finds Christ, will receive rest for His soul, in the sweet, by and by (Matt.11:28-20; Rev.14:13).
Dear reader, why not seek Christ today by believing in Him (John 8:24), repenting of all your sins (Luke 13:3), confessing your faith in Him before men (Matt. 10:32), being baptized unto the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38) and living faithfully for Him until death (Rev. 2:10)?
Wise man sought Jesus Christ two millennia ago and wise men still seek Him.