As we look back at the awesome events that surrounded Jesus’ first coming as a baby born in Bethlehem, we are looking forward to the culmination of history, when our risen Savior and King of kings returns at the end of the age.
Every Christmas season is like a dress rehearsal for the awesome return of our King. How we celebrate and honor the Lord for His first coming prepares us to receive Him in His second coming.
Isaiah 40 declares, “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the Lord shall be revealed…” (verses 3-5).
In ancient days this was exactly what a region would do whenever a great ruler would come. Armies would go out to clear a pathway for the king. When we look at the events surrounding Jesus’ first coming, we get a type for how we can prepare for the Ultimate King in our hearts.
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.” Matthew 2:1-2.
On the night that Jesus was born, the heavens declared His glory. From the angelic hosts that pierced the darkness above the shepherds watching their flocks, to the bright star that rose high into the heavens so that the nations could see His coming, God was saying, “I am accessible to the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. I have come, and My arms are wide open.” God was considering all people from every nation on this day. God had you in His heart, and He is still in the act of revealing His Son and His glory to the world.
The Bible is living, active, and full of power. It defines who and what we are. It is the mirror that reads us and transforms us into what God designed us to be. So when we want to discover what God defines as wisdom, we look not to scholars and universities, but to whom God calls wise. The wise men were those who saw the glory and set out on a journey to find their King.
The wise men, or magi, who recognized the sign in the heavens, were most likely from a priestly caste in Persia who had been schooled in the wisdom and theology of Daniel. One of the traditional names passed down for them means “keeper of the treasure.” While we do not know the specifics for certain, we do know that these men were true keepers of the treasure. They saw this glorious manifestation, and they took note.
Wherever Jesus is there are miracles and demonstrations of His glory. We have seen an increase of miracles in this season. With each miracle, there is a testimony that Jesus is alive and in our midst. When something supernatural happens, wise people respond. Like the wise men of old, they are people of faith, and when they see God move, they do too. We are on a journey from glory to glory, and in seeking Him we are transformed.
So how do we set out on this journey?
- Change Your Priorities: When the wise men saw the glory, they made a change. They set everything aside to seek out the One whose glory they saw. The journey to Bethlehem was costly, arduous, full of danger, and long. Basically, these men saw something of such great value in the glory that they laid aside everything, even at risk of their lives, to follow God. “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
- Keep Following: “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.” (Matthew 2:10-11).
There is always that first moment when God reveals Himself, His plan, His love, His invitation to us. Then, there’s the journey. We get the first burst of light that gives us a sign and a direction, but there are days we will all go through where it seems the light is dim, or even nonexistent. Wisdom will keep following God, even when our vision has grown dull.
It does not mean that God is not with us, it is simply a season were we walk out the sure Word of His promise in faith, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. His Word and His Spirit will never lead us astray, and they will never contradict each other. At the end of the journey, we will have great joy! “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14)
- Worship: “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” (Matthew 2:11).
When you have a revelation of God, your first response is worship. He is awesome. He is worthy. His presence is the most wonderful place to be. Even in the midst of great storms, His Shalom is there surrounding you. And what do you bring to Him? Your very best.
These wise men brought kingly gifts to the King of kings. They were all costly elements that spoke of royalty and the priestly elements of worship. When we see Jesus, our response is to give Him our best. What is that? It is our life. We offer ourselves to Him. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
- Transformation: “And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way” (Matthew 2:12).
In every generation there is light and darkness. There is Christ and there is the spirit of antichrist. And until the return of the Lord, there is always going to be a choice to make: Will we pay heed to Herod or to the Lord Jesus Christ? Today we have Herod-voices speaking all around us.
It is the spirit that would strip our nation of her Judeo-Christian identity. It is the spirit that would open our nation to sharia law. It is the spirit that bans our military from displaying a cross on their chapel. It’s the spirit of antichrist. Wise men choose the Lord Jesus Christ and go a different way than that dictated by the spirit of Herod.
It is not just for us but for our children and children’s children that we unapologetically choose the wisdom of God and His Son. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:18-24).
There are five times in this Scripture that the word “foolish” is used. In the Greek, the root of the word is moros. It is the word from which we got the word “moron.” So, according to the Bible, denying the Cross is moronic thinking. So how can we be wise? How do we insure that our culture, our nation, our society does not become moronic? We follow Jesus.
There is wisdom of this world, and then there is God-thinking. And it doesn’t matter how many degrees you have, or how many letters come after your name, without God, even the most brilliant minds are foolish. They might discover a lot of facts, but the conclusions they draw, whether it is on the nightly news, or in our universities, is going to be missing the revelation of the power and wisdom of God that comes through Jesus and the Cross. It is the epicenter of glory, and it is the context through which all other events and facts in this life must be evaluated.
We are all invited to share in the wisdom of God. Christ and His Cross are the power and wisdom of God. From the most brilliant scholar to the poorest of the poor uneducated child in the bush of Africa, whoever calls on His name shall be saved. It is simple enough for a child, and yet its depths are greater than any of us can ever fathom. To the human pride it is offensive, because it values something that we can never do for ourselves. But God has revealed His wisdom to us in His Son, and we choose to embrace His Cross and share its good news wherever we go.
The wise men from the East were wealthy, had great status, and worldly wisdom in their day and culture. But when the King appeared, they had an epiphany, and they brought everything; they were under His authority, in a sense, as they went to offer themselves and their wealth to this newly born babe. They understood true value. They recognized when the greatest treasure appeared. It was greater than any other.
This Christmas, may wise men still seek Jesus Christ. As we prepare our homes, decorate our trees, and remember the night our King of Glory was born, may we choose the wisdom of the Cross and prepare the way for His glorious return.
Copyright © 2017,Dr. Sharon Stone and Greg Black Christian International Europe-All rights reserved