“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men [astrologers] from the east came to Jerusalem” – Matthew 2:1 (Amplified Bible)
I love the heart of these wise men towards the Lord. There are a few lessons from their story which I want to practically apply in my life.
1. The wise men came to give, not to get
These wise men traveled hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from the east. When they finally arrived in Jerusalem, they went around asking, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2). It amazes me that they didn’t mention anything about wanting to receive something. If I traveled thousands of miles to see someone, I would certainly ask something for myself! But these wise men simply want to give something to the Lord.
I hope this will be my attitude towards the Lord and the church. Instead of thinking what can I get, I hope my attitude will be, “Lord, what can I give?”
2. The wise men gave with joy!
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Matthew 2:10
This is the main point I want to emphasize. When the wise men knew that they would soon see Jesus, they were filled with joy! But their joy wasn’t because they were going to get something from Jesus. Their joy was in the fact that they would soon be able to worship Him and offer something precious to Him.
“After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11
I think it would be so amazing if I could go back in time and be one of those wise men in that story. But I am reminded that I have that opportunity today to offer something precious to Jesus.
What do the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh represent? I believe that represents my will. This is the precious offering that the Lord desires from me.
We see this in Jesus’ attitude towards His Father. The passage below is a description of Jesus.
“Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required. Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.’” Psalm 40:6-8
Jesus came to the earth to offer His will to the Lord. And it was not a burden for Him, but a pure delight! This is the same heart that these wise men had.
Whenever I see pictures of the wise men offering their precious gifts to Jesus, I know that I can do the same today by giving up my will to Jesus. When I say “No!” to some temptation in my thoughts, I am giving up my will to Jesus, and it’s like the wise men offering a box of gold to Him. And like the wise men, I want this to not be a burden, but a source of joy.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the Bible calls them wise men. I believe this is true wisdom – to give up our will to the Lord and count that as pure joy.
I believe God will help this become a reality in my life.