My Dear Friend,
A Blessed Christmas to You! Christmas is truly very different this year in terms of practice. But it can still be better than ever! Although it is not yet Epiphany – also known as Three Kings’ Sunday – I felt led to share some thoughts concerning the Magi, also known as the “Wise Men” in the traditional translations. My prayer is that you can rest assured that in our current situation, the Light of Christ still shines as brightly as ever…if we keep looking up to Him!
Blessings and peace in Christ Jesus,
“Now after Jesus was born…wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him…And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:1-12, NKJV
The Genuine Faith of Those Who are Truly Wise
The arduous journey was supposed to end in discovering a king and His royal family. Instead, God brought these wise men to a humble family of meager means. They may have been tempted to ask, “Are we at the right house? This is no king’s palace. It’s a cottage!” They were indeed wise according to the world’s standards, but what made them truly wise was their discernment to recognize Jesus as King and Lord to be worshiped, despite the humble means by which God manifested Him.
They paid no attention to the house. They looked only to the star that led them to it.
That the wise men believed Jesus was a king was confirmed by the fact that they gave Him their expensive gifts – gifts fit for a king. But much more importantly, they had genuine faith that they were beholding the Son of God, evidenced by their willingness to bow down and worship Him.
After vainly searching for truth in earthly palaces, the wise will always find Jesus in an obscure cottage.
“Earthly palaces” are any of the human-made constructs – even religion – designed to appeal to our human nature that wants to avoid the “inconvenient truth” that we are sinners in need of a Savior.
“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” (1 Timothy 1:15a)
Those who see Christmas as a “celebration of Jesus’ birthday,” can join in the fun, even if they have no real interest in Jesus Himself. But those who see Christmas as a celebration of Jesus’ coming into the world to save sinners have found the true meaning of Christmas.
A few weeks ago, I met a man who told me that 2020 has been “a humbling year” for him, but he was going to “keep the faith.” There has never been a time when genuine faith has been more put to the test than the present. In the year 2020, we have come to the point where (choose your favorite cliché) the spiritual rubber meets the road, the wheat is being separated from the chaff, and the curtains are finally being opened.
The wise men of Scripture demonstrated genuine faith by seeing Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords – one with no earthly palace. Now, all the “earthly palaces” that were once relied upon are being torn down to reveal just who will enter the cottage of faith. The fact that this year has brought the beginning of the end to many seemingly permanent earthly palaces does not mean that all hope is lost. We simply change our view upward.
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:12)
There is a Christmas themed poster, sometimes reduced to the size of a bumper sticker, that says,
“Wise men still seek Him.”
Nothing could be more true! The light of the Holy Spirit’s Christmas star is still in the sky to lead you to Jesus. You need not seek Him bearing expensive gifts. He wants only your heart – not just a part of it, but all of it, and you will be complete in Him. Take your eyes off this old world, keep looking up to Him, and along with the Magi, you too can rejoice with exceeding great joy!