Friday, December 18, 2009

True Wise Men

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Matthew 2:1-2 "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."
What makes a man truly wise? At Christmastime, we often sing and hear about the wise men at the Lord Jesus' birth. Did you know that in Matthew chapter two, we read about other men who were supposedly wise? They were Herod's "wise men." Few people knew more than these men, but nobody did less.
The Bible tells us in verse one that wise men came "from the east to Jerusalem." This was no small journey! But these men knew something that gave them great confidence. They knew what the Old Testament said, and they came asking, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." (verse 2) These men made quite a journey to see the One "born King of the Jews," all because they were wise enough to believe what God had said.
Herod, on the other hand, gathered the chief priest and the scribes-those who would know about Old Testament prophecy-to find out where Christ was to be born. It was not that they did not know enough, for they said, "In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem . . . for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." They knew plenty; they did not do anything with what they knew. They illustrate to us the difference between being religious and being wise.
It is interesting to look at the names the Lord Jesus is called in this passage: "Christ," "Governor," and "the child." It is ironic that Herod thought of him as a full-grown man ("Governor that shall rule my people"); but today in America, in our shopping and traditions, we only see Him as a child!
Do you know someone who believes something but does nothing about it? That is because there is a difference in being wise and being religious. This truth is never more evident than in the story of the Savior's birth in Matthew 2. Wise men came from afar with only God's Word and a star; religious men of the day knew more than most people but did less than everybody. They did not act on what they knew.
Often I pray, "Lord, give me the wisdom to know what is right, and then give me the courage to do it." May that prayer be the way we live today, and may God help us to be true wise men.

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Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

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