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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.’”—Matthew 2:1–2 (NLT)
Some people spend their whole lives searching. They search for the right job, the right man or the right woman, the right house, the right car . . . they search and search, yet oftentimes discover that it’s not easy to find what we’re looking for. Sometimes, our searches take us far from home, across the world, to new and unfamiliar territory . . . just like the crew from the Enterprise on Star Trek!
The mission of the Enterprise is “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Like the characters in Star Trek, the wise men boldly went on a mission . . . they were in search of a King.
But who were these men? The word used in the Greek often referred to a group of wise men, likely Persian or Babylonian (“the East”) priests and astrologers, who devoted their time to interpreting signs and prophecies. With the influence Daniel had on the government of Babylon and Persia 600 years prior, the detailed prophecies of the coming King (such as Daniel 9:24–26) found in the Hebrew Scriptures, and the large number of Jews that maintained a presence in the area after their return from exile, it makes sense that these magi would look to the Scriptures for great signs and miracles.
A number of scholars believe the wise men knew to look for the star because of the reference in Numbers 24:17 about the star and scepter that was to come out of Jacob. Did they believe the God of Abraham was the true God? It’s very possible. With everything that took place during the time of Daniel, from the great dreams of Nebuchadnezzar to the fiery furnace to the lion’s den, it’s extremely likely that a pocket of Babylonian and Persian priests and scholars had been converted and passed this down from generation to generation.
These wise men devoted their lives to finding the King. Consider that these men, who knew to look for the star as a sign of the Messiah’s coming, were Gentiles . . . Gentiles who trusted in God’s Word as truth, so much so they left their land and embarked on a long journey in search of the promised King and Messiah. They sought Him in faith and with all their hearts, and rejoiced with exceeding great joy as they found their way to Him. When they found Him in all His humble splendor, they offered Him extremely valuable gifts fit for a King. (Later this week, we’ll go into detail about these three purposeful gifts and what they tell us about Jesus.)
Everyone’s journey is different. Sometimes, the journey is smooth and steady with minimal traffic. Sometimes, it’s rough, filled with speed bumps, detours, twists, and turns. Sadly, many people search their entire lives without finding the truth. But if there is one thing that we all have in common, it’s that our journey will end. The big question is where? What is your destination? For those who seek the King find Him and find eternal life along the way. We pray that every day, you seek Christ with the same passion and enthusiasm as the three wise men and offer Him the most valuable and precious gift you have—your life. I promise you, He will do exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ever ask, think, or imagine with it!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.