“We saw his star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2
You might not realize it, but today, January 6, is called Epiphany. This is when many Christians commemorate the wise men’s arrival in Bethlehem, marking the end of the twelve days of Christmas.
So, if, by chance, you still have your Christmas decorations up, you get a pass for today.
(But tomorrow is another story…☺ )
I’m reminded of the saying, “Wise men still seek Him.” And though it might sound a bit cliché, it’s packed full of truth.
You see, wise men and women humble themselves and seek the salvation found only in Jesus.
Salvation, however, is just the beginning of the journey.
In salvation, we “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). This “taste” should stir within us an insatiable hunger, an unquenchable thirst that beckons us to a pursuit of experiencing more of Jesus and His kingdom. Even if we’ve been Christians for most of our lives, we are not exempt from seeking Him. Jesus affirms this when He calls us to “seek first His kingdom.” which means an ongoing, continuous action (Matthew 6:33). But it’s not easy; this kind of seeking requires intentional effort, care, and commitment.
Bottom line: if we’re not seeking, we’re slacking. There’s no middle ground.
So, on this day of Epiphany, it’s time for some self-reflection:
Are you still passionately seeking Him?
Has your seeking gradually cooled off?
Before you answer, perhaps it’s helpful to reflect on the wise men’s story in the Bible. They are a beautiful example of what it looks like to seek Jesus above all else.
Having seen the star in the East, these wise men set out on an incredible journey to find the “one who has been born king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2). I imagine that if we had encountered them along the way, they would’ve told us all about the One who had captivated their attention and affections. So much so, that they just couldn’t stay put. They had to see Him with their own eyes.
And here’s the thing – having said “yes” to seeking Jesus meant they had to say “no” to countless other things. In short, their seeking required sacrifice.
JC Ryle explains, “What trouble it must have cost them to travel from their homes to the house where Jesus was born! How many weary miles they must have journeyed! The fatigues of an Eastern traveler are far greater than we can understand. The time such a journey would occupy must have been great. The dangers to be encountered were neither few nor small. But none of these things moved them. They had set their hearts on seeing Him ‘that was born King of the Jews, and they never rested till they saw Him.”
The wise men sacrificed their time, energy, and even their safety, to travel hundreds of miles to be in the presence of the long-awaited King.
But why make such a sacrifice? What compelled them to continue seeking, even after, let’s say, Day 38 of their journey? After all, many of us get fatigued after a five-hour road trip in an air-conditioned car. How did they keep going?
Because in their eyes, Jesus was (and is still) worthy.
And when they were finally in the presence of Jesus, they “bowed down and worshiped Him” (Matthew 2:11). To worship means, ‘to declare the worthiness of something or someone.’ And from the wise men’s perspective, Jesus was absolutely worth it.
Look, I know we all juggle a variety of responsibilities. We’ve got places to go and people to see. We’re busy. Believe me, I get it.
But amidst all the activities to come in 2023, may we maintain a hunger to relentlessly seek after Jesus.
Like the wise men of old, may the Lord open our eyes to see His beauty and worth.
Only then will we realize that any sacrifice we make pales compared to His sacrifice for us.
Spend some time reflecting on the following Scriptures:
“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11
“In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” Psalm 10:4
“You will seek me and you will find me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH