Many of us have heard the story about the three wise men. They follow the star that they have determined to be a sign pointing to the birth of a great King (Jesus). When they arrive, the present the baby King with gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh and they kneel before him acknowledging him as king. From Matthew 2:10-11:
When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage.
To us these days this may not seem like such a striking story… things like wise men, stars, baby Jesus, and gifts all scramble together in a long distant past… what does this mean for us today?
The wise men were also referred to as ‘Magi’. Magi where the intellectual powerhouses of their society. They knew all kinds of things about the stars and signs, prophecies and plans, religions and faith. Magi occupied positions of power in the most powerful empires of the time. With all of their power, with all of their knowledge, with all of their superiority… they took a journey in search of a king greater than they were. What they found was a humble baby, born to a common family, in a small nation. But that didn’t stop them from their convictions. They still knelt before the baby and acknowledged him as king.
Most of us today have trouble doing just that… being convinced enough (that Jesus is King) that we let him guide our lives and choices. We doubt because from our place as ‘intellectual powerhouses’ in the modern-era… the stories of Jesus, life, death, and ressurection may seem like the myths of humble ancients, born in common ignorance of reason and science, in a small corner of the world.
God tells us straight up that human ways and God’s ways are different… and it is easy to miss what God is doing because we are too convinced of our own superiority… and not convinced enough of God’s plan.