Wise Men (and
Women) Still Seek Him
Shepherds hurried to find
him; the Magi (or wise men) braved deserts and mountains to
find him; in the blazing noonday sun a defeated Samaritan
woman came to him; a skeptic exclaimed, "my Lord and my God"
when he found him. And today millions on every continent
acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. O come, all
ye faithful, to proclaim that God is among us as Jesus the
Let us pray. O God, you have
called us to spread your Gospel in the world today. In the
Christ child, You showed us in that single life the love you
meant for us to share. Help us share it, Lord. And now may the
Gospel come alive for each of us, as your word is proclaimed
in this place. In Christ's name. Amen
Not much is
known about the Magi, or wise men as we more commonly
refer to them. We assume there were three, because three gifts
were brought to Jesus. And we assume they were all men, but in
truth we don't know.
But what we do know is that
these wise men traveled thousands of miles seeking the
Messiah, the newborn king, a trip that took probably 1 to
2-years to complete. To our knowledge they had no map, they
had no compass, yet some would argue they had to have women
with them because they ultimately did find their way.
But the Bible does offer some
insight as to how they found there way to Bethlehem. They had
a star to guide them on their journey, a star of wonder, a
star of light, a star of hope.
Now by the time the wise men
found Mary and Joseph they were married, living in a house,
and were intending to stay in Bethlehem for a while. And when
the star they had been following settled over the house in
Bethlehem, the wise men found Jesus and responded with joy.
They immediately worshipped Jesus and gave him gifts of
I'm amazed at the persistence
the wise men exhibited, taking 1 to 2 years to seek Jesus, and
when they finally found him they gave this little boy gifts
often given to a king, or other person of prominence.
They were willing to give
what they had, because they knew they had been blessed by
Jesus' birth, and that Jesus was the long awaited for Messiah
that the prophets had been talking about. So they gave special
gifts to Jesus, not so they could receive special favors, but
out of praise and thanksgiving. This is the same reason we
ought to give today, out of praise and thanksgiving. The Magi
were indeed wise people, realizing what God promised had in
fact come true, the prophecy fulfilled.
This seeking, and giving of
gifts by the wise men, is very different then what we
typically see today. Many today expect God to come looking for
them, to explain himself, to prove who he is, and to give us
gifts, rather then the reverse.
"You want me to believe, then
God you better come show me something like a miracle, or give
me the winning numbers for the lottery, then I'll believe."
Not an unfamiliar attitude we observe, is it?
But those who are truly wise
still seek and worship Jesus today, not for what they can get
from God, but because they know whom Jesus is. They know that
this Jesus, born of Mary, is the Son of God, the one sent to
redeem us and to save us. A gift far greater than a one-time
miracle, or winning the lottery.
I find myself often times
sitting back in my desk chair reflecting on the question, "why
is it people don't want to accept Jesus." And yes, I come to
the same conclusions many of you do, like, we want to have
control of our lives, people can't believe what they can't
see, we live in a self-focused world, so on and so forth. But
these answers weren't satisfying to me this week. I wanted
Why God don't people get it,
why don't they seek Jesus with all the energy they have, why
can't they see a better life in Jesus, why!!
Well after ranting and
raving, and taking a walk this past Monday I received my
answer. As humans we don't look for things until we really
need them, and even then sometimes we don't, or don't look for
the right things.
But isn't it true, we don't
seek the things we need until we really need them. Think about
it, when do we go to the doctor, not until we need to? When do
we call a plumber, not until we need to? When do we study for
an exam, not until we need to? Join me. When do we clean the
house, not until we need to When do we go to church, not until
we need to When do we seek Jesus, not until we need to
You get the idea; we're
"not-until-we-need-to" kind of people. And because we're
"not-until-we-need-to" kind of people we tend to seek God like
he's some kind of divine vending machine. We begin to focus on
biblical verses that say, "Ask and it will be given to you,"
(Matt 7:7) or "Call on my name and I will answer." (Zec 13:9)
taking these statements completely out of context to simply
suit our needs or desires. And then when we don't get what we
want we are quick to blame God, or we're quick to declare the
must not be a God.
But prayer and God's Word are
not coins to be inserted in a vending machine, and faith is
not a button you push out of want. God doesn't submit to our
whims and wishes. God is not some heavenly vending machine we
seek when we want gifts or favors. God transcends our petty
seeking; he is God almighty, love incarnate.
God longs for us his children
to return the love he has lavished upon us. He wants us to
love him, not things. He wants us to seek him, he wants us to
obey him, not because we might be blessed, but because we love
him and want to please him. So we need to lose the vending
machine mentality and realize the time to seek Jesus is now,
not later when it may be too late, but now, so that we can
enjoy the blessings of knowing Christ, and live without fear
of the future.
The Magi found Jesus as a
young child with his mother Mary. We find Jesus today as the
living Christ, clothed with glory and honor, seated at the
right hand of the Father in heaven. And now he offers us his
divine invitation: "Listen! I am standing at the door,
knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come
in to you and eat with you, and you with me." (Rev. 3:20, NRSV)
The babe born to Mary in
Bethlehem, who is now the Christ of Glory, is inviting you
today, just as the New Year begins, to begin anew with him. Is
the door of your heart open to receive his invitation and
Wise men and woman still seek
Read other messages by Pastor Wade