“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 have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’ ” Matthew 2:1–2
What are you looking for in life? Chances are that if we took an inventory of how you spend your time those activities would reveal what your plans and dreams really are. Some may even be surprised by the results of such an activity because they’ve convinced themselves that they have one set of priorities when subconsciously they’re actually intent on pursuing a different set.
Take the Jewish leaders at the time of Jesus’ birth. If you’d asked, most of them would have said that they were pursuing God’s will for their lives and seeking to cooperate with his plans, but their lack of awareness and disinterest in the events that had happened in Bethlehem tell a very different story.
For a sincere seeker there was plenty of opportunity to know that God had sent his Messiah. From a great distance the wisemen had seen an unusual light in the western sky that had a short time later coalesced into the light of a single fixed star. On the basis of the emergence of this star alone they had searched through the scriptures to find answers to their questions, and what they found had sent them on a journey to welcome the Christ child.
The Jewish leaders, and all the people, had had the same opportunity. One could even reasonably suppose that they might have had additional indications of Christ’s birth given that Bethlehem is only a short distance from Jerusalem and you’d expect that some report would have reached Jerusalem of the experience of the shepherds on the night Jesus was born. Yet when the wisemen arrived in Jerusalem the Jewish leadership, and all the people, were ignorant and this ignorance reveals their lack of interest in truly keeping up with and cooperating the work of God in this world.
One could say the same thing about the professed followers of God in this world today. Many are continuing to pursue routines and practices that have been in place for centuries and flattering themselves that they’re working with God. Others have made changes to the routines to adapt them to contemporary culture and they also tell themselves that they’re keeping up with God’s work of saving the world. But this focus on the routine reveals that there is an ignorance of the time we’re living in and the work God’s calling us to do.
The wisemen completely interrupted their priorities, routine and work on the basis of their knowledge and faith. The book of Acts tells us that believers in the New Testament Church, led by the Holy Spirit, did this as well. We living in these last days, knowing what we know, and believing what we profess to believe, ought to, as we seek God’s will, be doing the same.
Wisemen, two thousand years ago, left everything and traveled far so that they might seen our Saviors face. Wisemen, and women, will do the same today.