The Wise Men
Are you worshiping the Lord Jesus where He is? The request of the Lord is very plain and very clear that we would remember Him in His death for us (Luke 22:19,20). The picture of the wise men in Matthew chapter 2 brings before us the importance of seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit to bring us to worship the Lord where He is. It is not my desire in this article to discuss the New Testament principles of the truth of the One Body, as that is a much larger topic beyond the scope of this passage, but to exercise each one as to the importance of seeking the place where the Lord is. In this discussion we will be looking at Matthew 2:1-12, and quotations will be from the King James Version.
In verses 1-3 we see that the wise men left their home in the east when they saw the star. We are not told how they knew what the star meant. We are not told where exactly they lived. We are not told what they did for a living. All we know is they saw the star, a picture of the Holy Spirit, and stopped whatever they were doing to seek to worship Him. How often we hear "I can worship Him wherever I am." We hear the argument that we can just as easily worship the Lord in our own homes or wherever we happen to be. The wise men would not have seen Jesus, and they would not have enjoyed the blessed privilege of being in His presence.
We find, however, that they did not follow the star. They saw the star, but did not follow it. Man's wisdom led them to Jerusalem, the capitol of Judea, where king's palace was. Did they find Jesus here? No, they only found Herod and a troubled city. In the same way, we will not find the place where Christ is if we search in our own wisdom or the wisdom of man.
In verse 4-6 we read that Herod called together the scribes and the pharisees. These were those in Jerusalem that were the most educated. The men that read and understood the scriptures. He asked them where Jesus was, and they all knew the answer. Not because they had seen Jesus, but because they had read the scriptures and understood what the prophets had written. These men had an understanding of the scriptures, but unlike the three wise men, but lacked the faith and the desire to seek Jesus and worship Him themselves. It is not enough to be a Biblical scholar. It is not enough to read and understand the scriptures. It takes faith and a willingness to be led of the Spirit to find the place where He is.
In verse eight we read that Herod sent them to Bethlehem, asking them to return and tell him where Jesus was. Of course we know that Herod's intent was to kill Jesus, but for the illustration here I would like to make a different application. It is not enough to listen to others and take their word when it comes to worshiping the Lord. We can not send others to seek the place for us, each one of us must find it for ourselves.
In verse nine we see the wise men leaving Jerusalem and travelling to Bethlehem. This time, they followed the star, and what a blessing came as result of it. Did the star lead them to Bethlehem? Did it lead them to the manger? Did it lead them to this house or to that house? No, it lead them directly to the Lord. "It came and stood over where the young child was." The Spirit of God does not lead us to one church or one denomination or one organization, or to a group with the correct mission statement or the right pastor or minister. No, it leads us to the place where the Lord Jesus is in the midst. It gathers us together in His blessed Name (Matthew 18:20). We see the response that each one of us will have if we follow the Spirit to where the Lord is in verse 10. "They rejoiced with exceeding great joy" This is the joy that fills my heart every Lord's Day morning when in His presence I fulfill His request "this do in remembrance of me." Do you share this joy? Have you come to the place where He is?
What do we give up for our Savior? He gave His life for me, I owe Him all that I have and all that I am. In verse 11 we read of three things that the wise men brought with them on their journey to present to Jesus. Each gift speaks to us of another sacrifice or part of our life that we ought to be laying at His feet as the wise men did.
The gold speaks to us of material possessions. In Proverbs 3:9-10 we read: "Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." Later in Matthew, in the feeding of the 5,000, we see the young boy give all that he had, and the blessing that came as a result of it. This is the portion that the Lord has for each one of us if we are willing to render unto him all that we have.
The frankincense speaks of those things that we are most attracted to, and that are closest to our hearts. This is different for each one of us. For those of us who are younger it may be pursuing an education or starting a career. It may be personal relationships, both in our friendships and in seeking a spouse. Are we willing to commit these things unto Him? To let Him decide and to show us what is really right for our path?
The myrrh has an interesting connection. Smyrna, one of the seven churches addressed by the apostle John in Revelation, means myrrh. The letter to Smyrna is found in Revelation 2:8-11. In this letter the Lord promises a reward to those in Smyrna who were faithful even to death. I believe the connection here suggests that we are to lay even our lives at the feet of Jesus. If we are faithful to commit even our lives to Him, he has promised us a crown of life. What greater joy will there ever be, than to hear in that coming day: "well done thou good and faithful servant" is this not the end of a successful Christian walk here on earth? To receive that crown of life, to cast it at His feet, and to praise Him?