I decided to write a blog in honor of Three Kings Day. (Yea, I’m a little late…) But still, I wanted to write about these guys because this past Christmas season, they fascinated me. So, what does that have to do with my January theme of New Year Resolutions? Well, it actually has a lot to do with it.
The story of the Magi found in Matthew 2 is brief but powerful. It’s a story that shows the dedication of people following Jesus, people who were willing to risk their lives to worship the Promised One. People who wanted to give nothing but their best, and people of high rank bending down on a humble knee.
Lessons from the “Kings” to apply to our New Year:
- They sacrificed their own comfort and security in order to worship God
- They walked in obedience instead of fear
- Their immediate response to Jesus was worship
- They gave Jesus their best
- They feared God more than they feared man
Matthew 2:1-2 “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 saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
There was no airplane or Uber back then. So a group of men (we don’t know how many) packed up their camels with supplies to last them months as they journeyed across the desert, across the wilderness, to Jerusalem – a place where royalty would be found. They may have traveled with their families, and they definitely traveled with servants and caretakers of their animals. These wise guys were not the only ones who had to sacrifice their comfort and security. They set off on a journey, with the star to lead them, not a GPS. Each step they took was one of faith, not knowing where exactly their steps would take them. But this was a special moment in time – a moment that they had been waiting for. The King of the Jews had come, but His announcement was not made only to the Jews, but to people of all nations. Emmanuel, God with us, has come.
They approached King Herod, a man who many feared because he was crazy. (Killing wives and sons and people just because.) First of all, it would have taken a lot of guts to be a foreigner approaching any king. But they approached the dreaded King Herod. They were clear in their message that they journeyed a long way not to bow down to Herod, but to go and worship a different King. They were intent and unwavering in this mission. They obeyed the tug God placed on their hearts, and they listened more to Him than their fears.
Verses 10-11 “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”
Not finding the King in a palace or in the center of society where the rich and mighty could easily be spotted, they continued steadfast on their journey. The Star stopped above a small, humble home. They walked in with full and complete confidence and the moment they saw Jesus (a toddler!) they fell down and worshiped! Can this get any more beautiful?! Men of great riches and who had spent their lives growing in wisdom and knowledge immediate responses’ were falling to the ground before a child. They saw Jesus as He was – the King of the Jews, but their King also, and the Savior of mankind. And. They. Worshiped.
How often are we overcome with awe of God that we fall to the ground in worship? My bet is not often enough…
These wise men also gave Jesus their very best. The three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh were super expensive gifts that only really kings could own. (My Young Living peeps know that Frankincense Oil is no joke!) We don’t exactly know how rich these wise men were, but somehow they were able to acquire these – not just one, but THREE ridiculously expensive presents. They put them not on display in a mighty palace where people could ooh and ah over their generosity. But they put them with the rightful owner and ultimate giver of good gifts. They put them in a tiny house (before those were cool) with a dusty dirt floor, with a young mother and a small child. These gifts giving were not about them at all. This was about giving Jesus – the King of the Jews and THEIR King – the best of the best of the BEST.
Verse 12 “And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.”
They had heard about the Messiah, they were waiting for Him to come. God chose them to be able to see this Star and have the impulse to go and follow it – no matter the cost. Once they saw Jesus, they fell down and worshiped and gave Him their everything. They saw Jesus face to face and encountered His presence. King Herod gave them specific instructions to return to him, but they did not care. They ignored him and didn’t even consider the consequences. Remember, Herod was crazy so they deliberately disobeyed not just a king, but a wacko king who could have easily tracked them down and destroyed them and their families if he wanted to. But they did not care. Jesus became their one and only King. Jesus became their everything. Once they encountered God-in-man, the fear of man was driven far from them because the fear of God had moved in.
As we’re in the first month of 2018 I’m personally facing a lot of unknowns. I have some doubts, and I have a lot of fears. But I am thankful that God shared with us the story of the wise men because I think I have a lot to learn from them. My prayer is that my heart and my attitude would mirror the wise men. My prayer is that I would be on a daily search for Jesus, that I would worship Him, that I would give Him my best, and that my fears would be overshadowed and taken away because my fear of God would move in.
What about you?