Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem. – Matthew 2:1
The wise men were willing to journey as long as it took to see the newborn king. They knew the scriptures concerning the savior of the world. When they saw the signs they needed, they took off to be in His Presence.
King Herod knew that eventually a savior would come. When the wise men announced His arrival, Herod was surprised and obviously had not been looking for Messiah to come during his reign. Upon hearing the news, he asked his religious advisors to confirm. They read for King Herod Micah 5:2: But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler of Israel, whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting. King Herod saw this birth as a threat to his comfortable rule and sought to destroy Jesus. Verse 13 of Matthew 2 says, “For Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him.”
So we have two groups of people with the same information who have completely different reactions. The wise men sought to be in His presence and worship Him. King Herod sought to be in His presence so he could destroy Him. The wise men are excited about His Kingdom and the effect on their own lives. King Herod is ready to kill an infant in order to keep his little bit of power that he only had because Rome allowed it.
I wonder what the majority of “Christians” in America really do with Jesus. You can find so few people, especially here in the Bible belt, who do not claim Christianity in some form or another. Pretty much everybody calls themselves Christians. Yet, when you watch the majority of them live out their day-to-day lives, there is no indication that they truly believe what they say they believe. Whether you call yourself a Christian or not, there are really only two types of people concerning Jesus: Either you seek His presence and make Him ruler and Lord of your life, or you really want nothing to do with Him because you know He will mess up your comfortable lifestyle. I can certainly confirm that if you let Him in, you will not remain the same.
I am either a wise man journeying as far as necessary to see Him, or I am Herod, the perceived ruler of my own life who does not really want to be messed with. I’ve been in both places. I’ve been the ruler of my own life, claiming to have Jesus in my heart, yet pushing Him away every time I engaged in my favorite sinful activities. I’ve also been in the place where I desire nothing more than to be in the presence of my King. I go through lengthy stretches where He is my favorite activity. But, to this day, I am so inconsistent and I feel the war for first place in my heart.
Lord, just as those wise men walked and anticipated seeing you . . . help me do the same. When they finally got there, all they wanted to do was worship you and give You their best . . . help me do the same. Make me wise in your eyes. Thank You for the greatest gift that has ever been given.