Read: Matthew 2 v 1-12
The Christmas that we know today , has a whole host of traditions handed down to us through time
The world has conjured up so many traditional stories from all aspects of Christmas even from our bibles. Since we are her in East Belfast, nothing intrigues me more than the story of the Wise Men from the East. Today in our thoughts I hope to look at the Wise Men who came from the East!
Matthew’s gospel does not give us many clues about the travellers who came looking for Jesus, only that they studied the stars and came from lands in the east and so as a result there is a tradition that says they were magicians and scholars, stargazers from the lands of the old Persian Empire which is now known as Iran and Iraq and so for this reason they have been known as the Magi.
Our bible, through Matthew’s gospel, gives us a glimpse of the type of people they were. First of all we see that they were ‘GOOD LOOKERS’. They had travelled hundreds of miles looking for that someone special. They had come looking, they knew that this someone was not to be missed, and when they saw the star it says they were OVERJOYED (v10). Can I ask you as we think about His word today have you come looking, looking to know Him better and having known Him better will you love Him better. Have you come to be closer to Him, to know Him better and having found Him, are you like the Wise Men? OVERJOYED that he loves you? That he touches our lives and changes us? They were GOOD LOOKERS.
Then we see they were GOOD WORSHIPERS (v11). Having found that special baby and being overjoyed , they bowed and worshipped Him and the three things they brought spelt out the measure of their insight. Firstly the gold it stood for power and riches, it was a present fit for a king. The Magi knew he wasn’t just another Jewish baby but a King (v2) “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews ?” Next was Frankincense, and amber coloured resin burned by the priests. It was a sweet aroma to God. It signified prayer. The Bible tells us that our prayers are a sweet smelling aroma to God. Prayer is central to our RELATIONSHIP with our Father in Heaven and is offered through our own High Priest the Lord Jesus. Can I ask you as I wonder myself, do you want a better relationship with God? If so then come to Him in prayer through Jesus His Son
Thirdly then there was MYRRH an costly sweet smelling powder from the Myrrh plant, it was used to embalm the bodies of the dead. The Myrrh was to signify that Jesus was going to be important not only in His life but also in His death. Jesus told us that “ God so loved that He g his one and only Son (Jn3:16). If you believe He loves you then you must also believe that He died for you.
Finally we see they were GOOD LISTENERS, having found the Saviour, having worshipped Him, they listened to what God had to say to them in a dream (v12). Go home another route. They listened and obeyed, they went home another way. Friends can I ask you, like the Wise Men, have you found the one who is born King? If you have found him are you overjoyed by knowing him? Being overjoyed do you worship Him with your whole heart? In worshipping him are you listening to the one who has spoken to us through the Nativity story? If so then will take a different way in life, will you live each day with a changed heart?