December 7, 2016
I am focused this week on the story of the Wise Men, often called the Magi, who searched for Jesus until they found Him. We know very little about them, but they play a significant part in the Christmas Story. All of the Bible information about them is found in Matthew 2:1-12.
With apparent knowledge that the King of the Jews had been born, they went to the logical place to find Him – Jerusalem. The Roman-appointed King Herod was paranoid about any possible challenger to his position – even to the point of having members of his own family executed. So to hear that a King of the Jews had been born was most disturbing.
Herod knew where to go to find his answer, so he gathered the Jewish religious leaders to learn where their Messiah would be born. They shared the prophecy of the Old Testament prophet Micah, who declared that this would take place in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Herod sent them on their way with a directive to let him know when they found Him.
It appears to me that the next statement should be from the religious leaders: “Wow! We need to hurry to Bethlehem and check this out for ourselves.” But there is no indication that this occurred. In fact, as time went by, they were clueless that the baby in Bethlehem grew to be the 12-year-old boy Who visited them at the temple and confounded them with His knowledge. Years later, the religious leaders would reject any possibility that Jesus was their Messiah and would actually plot His death.
They were so close to the Truth and missed it entirely. While the Magi had little information but searched until they found Jesus, the religious leaders had detailed prophecy on record but apparently no interest in knowing more.
My fear is that many people will hear the Bible Story, sing the Christmas carols and celebrate the season, but miss knowing Jesus. I want everyone to be like the Magi – search until they find Messiah Jesus – and believe Him.
Pastor Bill Ehmann