Wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
A few years ago I was asked to write a short devotion about the wise men that came to bring gifts to Jesus Christ. When I was asked to write about the men I knew I’d have to do some research since I knew very little about them. The more I searched the less certain I was of who these men were and of what was known about them. We do know that they were from the east. So they were probably not Jews themselves. Some believe they were men who studied the stars, what we would now call astrologers. While many of us have assumed that there were three of them, based on what we’ve seen in Christmas plays and on the three types of gifts that they brought, we really have no biblical record of their number. One source stated there were fourteen of these wise men. But we do not know for sure.
What do we know about these wise men? And what can we assume based on what we know? Apparently they had heard the rumor that God had promised to send a King to the Jews. Perhaps they had also heard of God’s promise that this king would be a blessing to all nations on earth. They wanted to benefit from the blessings this king had to offer. They had seen a star that to them represented the location of this king. They were coming to worship him.
What else do we know about these men? How can we relate their journey to the journey that we as believers walk today? First of all each man had to make a personal decision to leave their home, their family and friends to come to worship Christ. Each of us had to decide for ourselves rather or not to come to Christ and accept him as our Lord and Savior. While their decision to begin the journey was an individual one, once they began their journey they became a part of a group of fellow travelers. Can you imagine how difficult it would have been to journey by yourself to a strange land searching for a king that the world, as yet, did not know? The dangers might have been many. Can you imagine facing them along? There may have been wild animals after their food and thieves after their valuables. They may have had to deal with others who did not speak their own language. How could one person manage all of this alone? One person could not and they were wise enough to know that they needed each other’s knowledge, wisdom, strength and abilities to make it to their destination.
Well guess what. We also need others as we travel through this life on our journey for Christ. We need the support, wisdom and encouragement of other Christians. This is one of the reasons why we’re told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We also need the talents and gifts of each other to accomplish the goals that God has set before us. We are told to go into all the world and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. But we can not do this along. It takes each of us coming together presenting all of those gifts and talents to the Lord. There is another thing that we as a group can do together. While it is possible to worship Christ at any time and in any place by our selves or with others there is something very special about coming to the Lords house and worshiping together. When the wise men saw the star that was over the Lords house they were thrilled in their hearts. They could hardly wait to come inside, present their gifts to Christ and worship him.
How about us? Are we also thrilled when we see the house of the Lord? Are we anxious to come in and worship him? Do we bring all of our gifts willingly and joyfully to the Lord? Do we come together to encourage, support and share our wisdom with each other? Do we work together to accomplish the goals that God has set before us? Are we following the wise example of these men who journeyed together or are we foolishly trying to make it on our own?