By Nana Yaw Aidoo

In the 2nd chapter of the book of Matthew, we have an account of some men from the East, who sought Jesus Christ whiles He was a baby, in order to worship Him. This incident plays a huge role in the nativity scenes and plays of those who religiously celebrate Christmas. The nativity scenes portray the men as three people, who were present at the birth of Christ in a manger. The bible on the other hand says nothing about the number of the men, and effectively tells us that these men visited Christ in a house (Matt.2:11) not in a manger, about 2 years after Christ was born (Matt.2:7, 16).

It says a lot that many would believe just about anything the bible is alleged to teach, without verifying to see what the bible actually says about the issue (Acts 17:11; 1 Thes.5:21; 1 John 4:1). It's little wonder some believe that we're saved from our sins by saying a prayer after a "pastor" or by having "faith alone", all because they won't verify what the bible has to say about salvation (see Matt.15:14).

But inspite of the abundance of errors that surround the religious celebration of Christmas, foremost among them being the lack of scriptural authority (see Luke 22:19), the birth of Christ and the circumstances surrounding this miracle, are facts that have been recorded in scripture and thus are "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work". Therefore, there are some things we can learn from these men who sought Christ.

First of all, we learn that the men who sought Christ were wise men. It is written; "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 the He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him" (Matt.2:1-2). The Greek word that is translated "wise men" is the word "Magoi". These Magi were men who 'took their places among "the astrologers and star-gazers and monthly prognosticators"' (Smith's Bible Dictionary, pp.374).

As to how these men knew to associate the unusually bright star with Jesus, it is my studied conviction that men from the Eastern part of the then world (Job 1:3), had pristine knowledge about the incarnation (Job 20:25). Quoting from Ellicott, William Smith noted that "everywhere throughout the East, men were looking for the advent of a great king who was to rise among the Jews" (ibid., pp.375). Whatever being the case, it doesn't detract from the fact that the bible refers to these men who sought Christ as "wise men".

In like manner, the bible admonishes men to seek the Lord. It is written; "Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore" (1 Chr.16:11). The Psalmist also wrote; "The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God" (Psa.14:2). He is a "wise man", who would tread the path of these Eastern Magi, and seek the Lord.

Secondly, we learn that these wise men sought Christ diligently. Opinions vary as to the country these Magi came from. However, the majority of scholarship agrees that they were either from Babylon or Medo-Persia. If it's the case that they were from Babylon, then the journey took about 5 months. This is because, after the Babylonian exile, when Ezra decided to travel to Jerusalem to restore primitive Jewish worship, it took him 5 months (Ezra 7:9). That is a long time to travel friends. To top it off, they had seen the star, 2 years prior to their arrival in Jerusalem (cf.Matt.2:7, 16). Nevermind the expense of gold, frankincense and myrrh. All this diligence, effort and industry, just to seek the "King of the Jews".

In like manner, the bible not only teaches us to seek the Lord, but it also admonishes that we seek Him diligently. The Hebrews writer noted that God "...is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb.11:6). All who teach and believe that man must do nothing in search for the Lord and His salvation, are in for a rude awakening on the day of judgement. Certainly, he is a "wise man" who would tread the path of these Eastern Magi and seek the Lord diligently.

Thirdly, we learn that the wise men found Christ. The diligent search of these men yielded results and thus it is written; "...and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother and fell down and worshipped Him..." (Matt.2:9-11).

In like manner, all who diligently seek Christ with all their hearts will find Him. The Lord has declared; "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jer.29:13). David said this about the Lord to Solomon; "...if you seek Him, He will be found by you..." (1 Chr.28:9). Oh sinner friend! What are you waiting for?

Finally, we learn that the wise men after finding Christ, didn't go back to where they came from, the same way. Matthew records that after everything, "...they departed for their own country another way" (Matt.2:12). In like manner, all who find Christ never return the same. The one who finds Christ becomes a "new creature" (2 Cor.5:17). The one who finds Christ becomes a "slave of righteousness" (Rom.6:17-18). And the one who finds Christ will receive rest for his soul, in the sweet by and by (Matt.11:28-20; Rev.14:13).

Dear reader, why not seek Christ today by believing in Him (John 8:24), repenting of all your sins (Luke 13:3), confessing your faith in Him (Matt.10:32), being baptized unto the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) and living for Him faithfully until death (Rev.2:10)?

Wise men sought Christ 2000 years ago and wise men still seek Him.


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