“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him’.” (Matthew 3:1-2)
Men from a land to the east of Israel followed a star to guide them to the infant King they had read about in the prophecies of scripture. They studied the signs in the sky which verified what they were reading. These men knew God has spoken and they followed His directives.
When the dry wind of the desert blew across their faces, burning eyes, cutting skin, and filling their mouths and noses with sand, they still followed the star. Mile after mile they trudged because their hearts burned with the truth of what they followed.
Days blurred into each other as the trip extended into weeks. Most scholars think the baby Jesus was around two years old when visited by the Magi because of the order of King Herod to kill boys two years old and under. Whether these wise men started their search two years before Jesus was even born, or it took two years to decide to make the journey and then complete the trip, we don’t know. But we do know they traveled a long distance, endured the hardships of travel, and maybe even suffered ridicule from some of their peers. “You are following a star to find a Jewish King?” they could have asked.
Did they see the star during the day? I don’t know. It could have been brightly shining during the daylight as well; but if the glow wasn’t beaming in the sunny sky, they still kept going even without the visible sign they had been following. Did they wonder each day if it would reappear at night?
Nevertheless, they sought, followed and fulfilled their goal. They didn’t waver in their quest. They listened to God’s messenger when they were warned of Herod’s evil intentions, thus preventing Herod from knowing where they found the young family.
What can we learn from these wise travelers?
- God’s Word contains His message. We need to follow it.
- Hardships will come against us to try to deter us from our quest, but the truth is worth pressing on for.
- The voice of evil will try to trick us into believing a lie, but following God’s warnings will keep us from being deceived.
- Peers may ridicule us and think we are fanatics, but finding the King will silence our doubts.
- Keep going in the direction of the star and we will stay on track.
The bright shine in the sky led these wise men to Bethlehem and the baby, yet all the searching of Herod’s soldiers couldn’t find Jesus. Herod was blinded by His own agenda and had himself on the throne. God’s guidance gives us the way we need to go. Doing things our own way blinds us to wisdom and closes the door on the answers we need.
What does the star say to you this season?