I sit in the front row as their preschool selves enter. Preschool Christmas programs are just the best.
They saunter across the stage, singing the first verse on cue in their over-sized robes and drooping head gear, belting out the lyrics they’d practiced for so long…
We Three Kings of Orient are. Bearing gifts we traverse afar. Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder star.
I can’t help but chuckle at their cuteness as they carry the gold, frankincense and myrrh. They stumble to remember the words of the song—singing out one phrase with loud enthusiasm and completely dropping out on the next.
O star of wonder, star of night. Star with royal beauty bright. Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to Thy perfect light.
By some sort of miracle, no one trips on their costume. They stop, kneel, and bow in front of baby Jesus just as the song ends.
The narrator continues with the program as my mind takes a detour–pondering these Wise Men from the East who came to worship Him all those years ago.
Of all the characters in the story, they tend to get the least press.
But who were they?
And what can we possibly learn from them?
4 Lessons Learned from the Wise Men
1. Know God’s grace is wide enough for ALL people
The wise men would have likely been Magi from Persia. These were men of great intellect–bookworms, astronomers, and elite men. They were not Jews, but Gentiles–foreigners. And this fact would foreshadow what was to come, as they represented all who would eventually come to worship Jesus throughout the centuries.
Jesus, Himself, made the way.
He, whose very lineage is scandalous…
Jacob, the polygamist.
Judah, his son, and the solicitor of prostitutes.
Tamar, Judah’s sly and seductive daughter-in-law,
And Perez, the incestuous product of them both.
Boaz, the son of Rahab the prostitute.
Ruth, the Moabite foreigner,
And King David, their great-grandson–an adulterer and murderer.
Through them all, Jesus came. And through Him, God’s grace is wide enough for all people. No matter what.
2. Seek Jesus, take risks, and never give up
The wise men traveled a long distance—at great risk and expense—without any certainty of what they would find. They simply had faith, based on the evidence, that Jesus existed. And they were willing to risk everything to find Him.
Sometimes our faith in God demands risk—a perseverance in seeking Him at all costs–with a confidence and steady trust that we will find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart. The wise men never gave up, and neither should we.
3. Be eager to accept guidance and direction
It is far too easy to pretend we’ve got it all together. And yet, the wise men refused. They were willingly led by a star and even stopped for some guidance and direction along the way.
There is power in being humble and teachable—in allowing ourselves to be led, instead of pretending to know it all. And in the end we are better off for the direction and guidance we’ve received, as we arrive at our destination.
4. Give God your best and worship Him
The wise men arrived bearing gifts.
They brought gold, the most valuable metal of all. They brought the best they could offer, to acknowledge Him as King and Lord over all. May we bring our best and give it to Him as Lord of all.
They brought frankincense, representing the incense that priests would burn in the temple, declaring Jesus as our High Priest, our Emmanuel—God with us. He would sympathize with our weaknesses and welcome us just as we are. May we worship Him with our surrendered lives, becoming a sweet fragrance of incense pointing the world to Him.
And they brought myrrh, an ointment used for burial to avoid decay. And they presented it to Jesus, the Savior of the world—a Savior who had come to die, and save us all from our sin. May we offer our very lives to Him to use as He desires, because He gave His very life for us.
Wise Words from Wise Men: Know Grace. Seek Jesus. Take Risks. Accept Guidance. Worship Him. [Click to Tweet]
UnWrapping the Gift
- Which of Jacque’s four points (Know Grace, Seek Jesus, Take Risks, Accept Guidance, or Worship Him) resonates most deeply with you this season?
- Which of the four points would you like to instill in your boys this season?
- What are some practical ways you apply these wise words?