Matthew records that the wise men came in search of the new-born King following a star. (Matthew 2:1-12) In the narrative, we can see three kinds of responses:
1) Apathetic religious leaders: The Wise men reached Jerusalem unannounced and unscheduled, creating a commotion in Jerusalem. When Herod heard that a special or unique child was born within his jurisdiction, and these wise men took all pains to visit the infant, he was troubled. The paranoid Herod summoned the Chief Priests and Scribes who were experts in the spiritual and religious issues. Apathetic religious leaders gave a quick answer – Bethlehem – as the prophet Micah that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Most probably, they were paid for their duty and they simply returned home. They should have gone ahead of the Wise men to worship the new-born King covering just 6 miles.
2) Adverse political leader: Clever and selfish King Herod was troubled when he heard the message that a King was to be born in his geographical jurisdiction. It was more so because the infant could attract a delegation of diplomats from a foreign nation in the East. Herod was clever enough to summon the right people to get the right answer. He wanted to know the exact location not for worshipping but to eradicate him. He sent his soldiers to kill all the male infants under two years. (Matthew 2:16)
3) Awe and Worship: The wise men went to Bethlehem and worshipped the new-born King. They travelled, probably in caravans of camels crossing forests, rivers, nations and deserts to worship the Lord. Faithful seekers who were willing to sacrifice, suffer and lose to gain eternal blessings. They also offered symbolic offering: gold (for a king), frankincense (for a divine) and myrrh ( a reminder of death and resurrection). The Wise men’s response was awe and worship like that of shepherds.
The world is divided into three categories of people. Which category do you belong to?
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by Rev. Dr J.N. Manokaran