About those Wise Men

3 Dec

Wise Men & StarQuestion: Where did the wise men go to get their robes tailored? Answer: Bethle – HEM.

And we can’t resist this story…

In a small southern town there was a “Nativity Scene” that showed great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature bothered me.

The three wise men were wearing firemen’s helmets.

Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left. At a “Quik Stop” on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at me, “You Yankees never do read the Bible!” I assured her that I did, but simply couldn’t recall anything about firemen in the Bible.

She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled through some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage. Sticking it in my face she said “See, it says right here, the three wise man came from afar.” *

[That’s “from a fire” for you non-Southerners.]

I (Dawn) love the story of the Wise men. They are part of our decorations  (even though they didn’t visit the Christ child until he was a toddler, and there’s no reason to think there were three ~ except for the fact that three gifts are mentioned in Matt. 2:1-16). The Wise Men are part of historic Christianity, with their visit detailed in scripture.

Though much of their history is hidden, these Wise men, or Magi (not “Kings” as the popular Christmas carol suggests) played an important part in the story of Jesus coming to earth.

Instead of priests coming to visit Jesus, it was these unknown strangers, perhaps a foreshadowing of the Jews’ rejection of Christ (John 1:11). These Magi spent time, money, and energy, traveling many miles ~ perhaps dangerous miles ~ to come to the infant Jesus, “to worship Him.” Their coming and worship was intentional. And so must our worship be a choice. In every activity of life, we live as unto the Lord with the intent to glorify Him (1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17).

In the end, they weren’t sidetracked by Herod’s false claim (that he wanted to worship the baby).  Though they had never seen Jesus, they saw the miracle of the star and sensed that this was a special child. They found themselves in the presence of deity, and they believed. They foreshadow the Christians the Lord grafted into the Family of God:  “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

The Wise Men offered gifts along with their worship, and so must we. Beyond worshiping the Lord in church, we must be willing to worship Him with the fruits of our lives ~ our time, talents, money, etc.

Then, when God gave them new direction about their circumstance (Matt. 2:12), they willingly obeyed and went home “another way.” I’m thinking that this also foreshadows how the believer is to operate after meeting Christ. We have new direction (as well as purpose and priorities), and we live “another way.” We obey the Word of the Lord.

The Wise Men give us many ways to think about how we live in the presence of the Christ Child, and how we love, worship and serve Him. Are you a wise woman (or man)? Do you recognize the “King” in the cradle, and worship Him with all your heart?

Note: To see how the American Atheists try to distort this message about the Wise Men, see “We Need Courage to Speak at Christmas.”

* http://www.basicjokes.com/djoke.php?id=125

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