“You would not have called to me unless
I had been calling to you,” said the Lion
The Silver Chair C.S. Lewis
For the next few weeks we are going depart from our normal content and focus our attention on the Christmas season with a series called, Jesus Who?
When you think about Christmas there are many ways to consider the season. And no, the North Pole, Santa Claus, tiny reindeer and a sleigh full of toys aren’t in the mix.
But, if you grew up like I did my family balanced both — Santa and his crew with the baby Jesus in the manger, the animals, the three wise men and usually the little drummer boy.
The true origins of Christmas began with the birth of a child, a child who is known by many names with one being the most recognizable – Jesus. And this is where our series begins, Jesus Who?
First we need an understanding that eternity has been built into our hearts and it is eternity that drives us to seek after something or someone bigger than ourselves. And in our seeking we often find unexpected revelation.
Putting this in context with Christmas – the three wise men were seeking someone greater than themselves when they set out to follow a new star. Often called the Magi, they were wisest of all the people in the land. They were educated, but more than educated they had an ability to understand even the most complex problems. For thousands of years they served kings, providing solutions to problems in the kingdom from wars to interpreting dreams, to resolving marital conflicts.
The Magi understand the times and discern the signs of the future. They knew the prophecies, which would signal a new season, a new time. The Magi knew a Star would be seen and a King would arise from God.
The Star appeared illuminating the sky, beckoning them to come, come to Bethlehem and see the baby, the king who has been born. And so their journey of more than one thousand miles from the Persian province to Bethlehem began. The stories we have heard about the wise men always depicted three Magi because there were three gifts mentioned. However, more than likely the Magi had a great and mighty entourage with them. In order to have an audience with a King, they would have brought an abundance of presents to honor him. We know from the story, the caravan carried gold, frankincense and myrrh. To make the trip they would have needed camels, donkeys and horses to carry these gifts and supplies. They would also have employed the services of an army to guard all they carried on this long, and difficult journey.
Before they were able to see the new king, they would need to visit the ruling king, King Herod. Who would know better of a new king being born than the reigning king? The Magi presented King Herod with lavish gifts from their supply, knowing you cannot come before a king without bringing opulence to give.
They pose the question to King Herod, “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.” (Mathew 2:2, The Message Bible)
This question caught King Herod by surprise. Can you imagine the commotion? He assembled his counsel of wise men and scribes to find out more from the Magi — and he asked, “where the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed, was to be born).” (ibid)
King Herod did not even know the child had been born! He commissioned the Magi to go find the child and report back the exact location so he too could visit and worship Him.
As the Wise men exited the palace they felt assured that King Herod’s interest was genuine and believed they had his blessing to search for the new baby king. It was not until later that God would warn them their lives were in danger — as well as the life of the child!
King Herod called the child, an enemy to his kingdom. This child, if he proved to be the true King the Jews were waiting for would certainly overthrow King Herod’s rule, and thwart his descendants from future rule. King Herod knew he must stop this enemy of his kingdom; He could not let him be unveiled or gain the attention of the Jews.
Meanwhile, the star guided the Magi onward in their journey. Then the star hovered over the place where the child was. The Magi stopped and had a grand celebration, rejoicing, cheering, being filled with great joy.
Why such joy? Could it have been the excitement of completion of their journey? Their anticipation had grown since seeing the star for the first time. Many days, many hurdles, and many miles had past and at last they had arrived.
At this point, Jesus is not a baby in the manger, as many think. He is between one and two years old.
The Magi come to the doorstep of the house where the child-king lived. His mother Mary met them and when they saw the child, the King of the Jews, they fell down and worshiped him. They brought the treasures to set before him. Remember? You cannot go before a King without gifts to honor him.
Their journey had reached its crescendo! They had met the king of the future. They had accomplished the mission set before them as wise and discerning men – they discovered the future of the world in the form of a child.
The Magi called Jesus King of a new Kingdom.
King Herod called Jesus the Enemy of the current Kingdom.
As I was preparing to write this story I realized something from this segment of the Christmas story.
God sent these wise men, the Magi, to acknowledge the arrival of the King. They were outsiders, they weren’t the ones eagerly anticipating the Messiah they were wise men following signs for the future. The Magi were followers of signs, which is what defined their purpose, their destiny in life.
As we follow our purpose in life we will find the unexpected.
The wise men followed a sign, the star, and found a king in a young child.
Additionally, the birth of Christ fulfills the longing of eternity with someone greater in our lives.
I hope you enjoyed the journey through the eyes of the wise men. In our next episode of Jesus Who? we will discover who Jesus is through the encounters of Angels, Dreams and the Unexplained.
Don’t miss the opportunity to find out more about Jesus and who He is by ordering my two books, 7 Visions and Believing God and Believing His Word. They make great Christmas gifts, and if you order now — you will receive signed copies while supplies last.
Order on my website at http://cindy-stewart.com/media/books/
They are also available on Amazon in Kindle form.
Enjoy your Christmas Season!