Waiting With the Wise Men
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.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “ ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
Matthew 2:1 – 8
Today we are going to learn how to wait for the second coming of Jesus from the wise men. What I find interesting about the wise men is that their waiting was pretty active. They took steps forward in a journey of faith until they saw Jesus face to face.
I also find it interesting that their activity was based on incomplete information. They didn’t have the whole picture. They didn’t have a precise location on a map. As a matter of fact, all they had was a star and a rumor that a king had been born. But still they moved forward. They packed their bags and went looking for the newborn king. They allowed the rumor and the star to lead them forward. And it did lead them. It led them away from silken girls bringing sherbet to camel men cursing and grumbling. It led them away from what was known into the unknown. It led them away from their own kingdom into the kingdom of heaven. Simply put, it led them to Jesus.
The Jewish scribes, on the other hand, could explain exactly where Jesus was to be born. They had studied the Scriptures, and they knew Bethlehem was marked on the map. But they were unmoved.
I think the wise men provide a model for us to follow as we wait for Jesus’ second coming. You see, in many ways we are like them. We, too, live looking for God’s great king. And as we wait for Jesus’ second coming, we must live on the promises he has given: I go to prepare a place for you. I will return for you. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. Surely, I am coming soon!
It’s no good knowing these things and making no movement. It’s no good memorizing these words but not allowing them to make a difference in our daily lives. If this happens, we are not like the wise men; we are like the scribes who had more information but were not motivated to move.
So during this season of Advent, follow the example of the wise men. Don’t worry about what you don’t know. Don’t wait till you get more details. Act on what God has revealed.