Bible Society of South Africa

In step with God: Wise men still seek him - 13 December 2023

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

9-10And so they left, and on their way they saw the same star they had seen in the east. When they saw it, how happy they were, what joy was theirs! It went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.

Matthew 2:9-10GNBOpen in Bible reader

A journey is a valuable experience because it enriches our understanding of life.

Whenever we’re flying at night, I love to look out at the twinkling lights below, and imagine the home-life there – especially the desert which is so different to built up areas. I’m intrigued by the fascinating shapes with long expanses of darkness in between, and how at twilight, the sky is translucent, and the stars sparkle as if in an Arabian Nights’ fairytale.

This sky would’ve been visible to the astrologers from the East, the wise men, travelling over long desert roads, inspired by the sighting of a new, bright star, in search of a baby king like no other, born in a foreign land. These erudite men, who’d studied astronomy, found this star so extraordinary that they willingly made the journey at considerable expense and sacrifice of their time and comfort, in order to see the special king that had caused its appearance.

Serious seekers, so strong was their conviction, they pressed on determinedly, carrying precious gifts for the yet unknown king, undeterred by potential problems. King Herod tried to trick them into revealing where the baby was, but God warned them in a dream to go home another way.

Already the good news of Jesus’ birth was spreading into the wider world and God was blessing the seekers.

The wise men’s response to the star was remarkable; they were elated to see it again – as if they’d been reunited with a long lost friend – perhaps because it was such a joyful reminder to them of the amazing purpose of their journey after their sinister encounter with Herod; and, as if it had its own mind, it led them to where Jesus was.

For them it was mission accomplished: “They went into the house, and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshipped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and presented them to him.” (Matthew 2:11)

This Advent may we be inspired by the wise men as we continue our own journey to the Christ Child. Let us keep in step with God as they did, recognise his signs and be obedient to his call.

In Jeremiah 29:13 God says, “You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart”, so let us, too, dedicate ourselves to finding him, humbly asking, being willing to make sacrifices, and pay homage to Jesus by loving extravagantly.

May we be faithful to our convictions and never led astray by the enemy in any guise. May we joyfully find the Saviour.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as we bow down and worship Jesus “who came from (you), full of grace and truth”, may we know true joy, fulfilment and abundant life. Amen

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