Wise men came from afar, guided by a star. There’s just something so special, and magical about their story, their journey of faith, embarking on the road less travelled, and leaving everything behind.
They didn’t have to do anything. They didn’t have to leave home. They didn’t have to give up the sweet comforts that their own homes provided them, and yet, they did. And they left everything behind.
But obviously they believed in something, in someone. And just meeting that someone, was greater than everything they had at home.
Coming from afar, they were guided by a star. But it really isn’t the star of Bethlehem that is the star of the story, and it isn’t the wise men, and it isn’t their fancy gifts. It isn’t even their great faith. It’s the one whom they seek, and find, who means everything. It’s the Son of God who steals the show. Even though He seems to be only a helpless little child, who still can’t hardly do anything without mom and dad. And still, He steals the show. The Son of Man. The Son of God. The Savior of the world.
That’s why it isn’t just the story of the wise men. It’s your story and mine. It’s your journey of faith, dear children of God, dear baptized in Christ. “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
Because wise men still seek and search for the Savior, and we still find Him, as He still reveals Himself to us exactly where He says He is to be found: In His Word, in Baptism, and in the Lord’s Supper.
“But pastor that’s so boring! I’ve heard that a million times! It just seems like there’s got to be something more. Something more exciting, to get me in the right mood.”
But if we are truly looking for a magical story, well, God has given us one. Coming from afar, wise men were guided by a star.
They didn’t know where the journey might take them. They didn’t know all the details, and what it would be like. How would they be treated in this foreign land? They might even get mugged for all they knew. All they knew for sure is that the Savior of the world was born. And they wanted to go see Him, and worship Him.
And so they left everything behind. But whatever happened to them during, or after their journey – they’d have to trust that God would take care of it all. All they had to do was go, and God would take care of rest.
Isn’t that the story of our life in Christ? All we must do is show up, come and hear God’s Word, and He takes care of the rest. No need to worry about whether or not we will understand, or whether or not we are worthy, or good enough, or strong enough, or even if our faith is strong enough. God gives us the understanding, and God gives us the faith, and God gives us the strength. God gives us His Son. And by the power of His Word and Spirit He gives us the true faith.
All we must do is come, and God takes care of the rest.
There was a lot the wise men didn’t know about their journey. And there is a lot we don’t know. There is a lot of mystery in this story. We don’t know how many wise men there were. We don’t know exactly from which country they came, just from the east.
Even their name “magi” or wise men, is a bit of a mystery, because it includes so many different professions, including teachers, doctors, priests, interpreters of dreams (Daniel/Joseph), interpreters of signs in the stars, astrologers.
These wise men could have been any of these things, or more than one. It seems likely that they were interpreters of the stars because of the sign God provided, but we don’t know that for sure.
And we don’t know what the star looked like, or how close to earth it was, or how fast it moved. Or exactly how God revealed to them that the star would guide them to the Savior. Or how they knew that there was a Savior. We know Daniel lived in the east, so maybe the Scriptures were passed down from him, for many generations down to the wise men, who came from afar. But we really don’t know for sure, do we?
The one thing we need to know, God has revealed to us. The Savior of the whole world is born. It matters not whether we are from the east or west, north or south. He is the Savior of all, and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
So their greatest wisdom was in knowing the Savior, and believing in Him. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” They left everything behind in search of something greater, better. And what Jesus offers is just that – so much better, so much greater. Freedom from sin and death, and forgiveness, and eternal life. The world offers us every kind of pleasure and treasure, yet, we soon find that they are burdens we cannot bear, for in loving them comes guilt and consequences that eventually will crush us. Christ offers complete freedom from sin, so that we don’t have to be dominated or controlled by any sin. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
The journey of the wise men is our journey. There’s so much we don’t know. Every day is a mystery, not knowing exactly where life will lead. Not knowing the exact plan God has for us.
Yet, we can trust that the Savior of the world is born. In Him, we have all that we need. He guides us and leads us every step of the way.
We live by faith, not by sight. No matter what suprises life brings us, we can have complete and utter confidence that our Savior won’t let us down.
In fact He promises to provide us with more than we can ask or think. He speaks of bread without limit. And “a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”“I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” He speaks of forgiveness that never runs dry. Mercy that is never exhausted. Grace that covers even the greatest of sinners. Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.
Wise men still seek the Savior and He still reveals Himself to us, in His Word and Sacraments. “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.