Matthew 2 verse 11 reads: And going into the house they (the wise men) 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.
These wise men from the east, probably from Iraq or Iran, came with a large traveling group. They were not kings, but advisors to the king. Much like the Prime Minister’s cabinet today.
These wise men traveled from a far away country; they did not have the scriptures to guide them; and they were ethnically different from Jesus. How did they react when they found the baby Jesus?
Isn’t it interesting that first ones to worship Jesus are astrologers from Iraq or Iran? The birth of Jesus was to be a blessing to the nations and it’s outsiders who first worship. The story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is full of surprises. Again and again we see those outside traditional religious power structures – foreigners, women, and the poor who recognize Jesus for who he is.
The first bishop of Liverpool, J.C. Ryle, comments on these wise men:
The conduct of the wise men is a striking example of faith. They believed in Christ when they had never seen Him–but that was not all. They believed in Him when the Scribes and Pharisees were unbelieving–but that again was not all. They believed in Him when they saw Him a little infant on Mary’s knee, and worshiped Him as a king. This was the crowning point of their faith. They saw no miracles to convince them. They heard no teaching to persuade them. They beheld no signs of divinity and greatness to overawe them. They saw nothing but a new-born infant, helpless and weak, and needing a mother’s care like any one of ourselves. And yet when they saw that infant, they believed that they saw the divine Savior of the world. “They fell down and worshiped Him.”We read of no greater faith than this in the whole volume of the Bible.
This Christmas season, may we worship Jesus as well. Following in the footsteps of the wise men from the East – who really were truly wise.