Why were the wise men wise?
In our text Matthew like his contemporary Luke lifts the curtain of time and gives us insight into the greatest event known to man and that is the birth of Jesus. He starts out by introducing us to wise men who were seeking him that was born King of the Jews. Traditionally it is believed that there were three wise men and that is because when they found the baby and his mother they presented him with three gifts. However the bible never tells us how many wise men there were. In fact there were many wise men in the Ancient world and Bethlehem. Even though we don’t know the exact number we do know they were WISE MEN. So why were the Wise Men wise?
First they were wise because they stayed the course. They said, we have seen his star. It is believed they had travelled a great distance and followed this star for months. Since they were following his star it also mean they were traveling at night. And since they were traveling at night they had to be on constant guard for snakes, scorpions, spiders, and other venomous creatures that took refuge in deep crevices trying to keep warm at night.This coupled with the freezing night temperatures and the rugged terrain made travel slow and difficult. However despite the difficulties they stayed the course. If they would have deviated from their course they would have missed Jesus. A number of people have missed Jesus….life dealt them an unfair hand; they experienced a few setbacks and they missed Jesus…..missed his blessings; missed their healing and deliverance because they did not stay the course; but wise men stay the course because they know the disappointments are small in comparison to what God has for them! See Romans 8:18
Secondly the wise men were wise because they worshipped him. Verse 11 says that when they found the baby Jesus that they fell down and worshipped him. The word worship comes from a greek word that means to prostrate oneself in homage and respect; to reverence and adore. You see wise men worship because they know worship gets God attention! Praise is a response to an act of kindness that God has bestowed on an individual. Worship on the other hand is a derivative of the English word worth. When we worship God we do so because he is WORTHY!
The bills are past due….my health is failing…..house in foreclosure but God you are still worthy!
Finally, these men were wise because they went home another way. Wise men always go home another way! Earlier Herod had said let me know when you find the child so that I can come and worship him also. Verse 12 says that after giving their gifts these wise men went home another way. In other words, after being in his presence, they did not go back home the same way they came but they went home another way. What am I saying? When you get in the presence of Jesus, you won’t go back home the same way you came. You may have come into his presence sick but you can go home healed! Bound but you can go home delivered! worried but you can leave in peace! Are you a wise man or a wise woman?