|Wise Men image from Lifeway.com's Easton's Illustrated Dictionary|
I have been thinking a lot about them lately. Even moreso after my son portrayed one in his kindergarten's Happy Birthday, Jesus play depicting the birth of Jesus as told in the Bible.
Were there 3 of them?
Not necessarily. Between the lot of them they brought three gifts - gold, frankincense and myrrh - that we do know. (Matthew 2:11)
Were they kings?
Not necessarily. Matthew does not call them kings in his gospel account to us of the birth of Christ. According to the Holman Bible Dictionary, they were not called kings until A.D. 225 by Tertullian. Depending upon the version of the Bible you read, they are however interchangeably called "magi". The Holman Bible Dictionary says that their interpretation of the stars led them to find and honor Jesus, the newborn King.
What has had me thinking about these men so much lately?
(Other than the seasonal obvious reasons...)
I have always taken for granted that the Bible refers to them as "wise men." Sure that is also a somewhat technical descriptive term referring to their profession or position in society. However, I kind of have this new notion in my mind that God, when inspiring the writing of His Word by His Spirit through Matthew, specifically chose to use words for these men that could and would very often be translated as "wise men."
These men truly were wise in a few major aspects, if no other.
- They were wise enough to recognize the star that announced the arrival of our King.
- They were wise enough to not only know the prophecies about the coming Messiah, but to recognize and acknowledge publicly that the Messiah had come and fulfilled the prophecies of Him.
- They were wise enough to unwaveringly follow that star until it led them directly to Jesus.
- They were wise enough to know that they were in no way above this new baby King, but instead owed Him great reverence in the form of bowing down to Him, worshiping Him, and even bringing Him precious and meaningful gifts.
- They were wise enough to not trust King Herod but rather to trust a dream which warned them not to go back to Herod and tell him what he wanted to know about this new Kingly competition in the form of a baby.
With all of this in mind, you may or may not know or be royalty in human form---however, you can be a wise man just as these magi were in the days of Jesus' royal arrival on this earth.
So, no matter what your status in life nor your current and past mistakes, do you still seek Him? Will you now?
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. Jeremiah 29:12-14
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. Proverbs 8:17
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7
Wise men (and women) still seek Him.