Now, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, wise men came from the east to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who was born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1-2
Scholars disagree on the length of the wise men’s journey to Bethlehem. The shortest calculation is forty days. The longest, and the one most everyone agrees upon, is approximately two years. Whether a 40-day journey or a 2-year voyage, it took considerable planning. Leaving home disrupted the men’s personal lives. We read nothing of them taking their families with them.
Had they always been looking for the star that appeared in the night sky? How did they know its significance? How could they be sure it wasn’t something of lesser significance? But they knew.
The path to Bethlehem was made possible by the star. As they traveled, they would have re-calibrated continually to ensure they were still on track. Eyes fixed, they were led safely to their destination. Without the star as their compass, there would have been no successful outcome.
Symbolically, each of us embarks on a similar journey. We see the glory of God revealed, not in the skies, but in the face of Christ. That event means more than what we can possibly convey in a dinner conversation. It holds such significance that we are willing to stop everything, count the cost, and embark on a journey that will take a lifetime. Ultimately, we don’t arrive in Bethlehem to see a baby but in heaven to see a risen, glorified Jesus face to face.
Along the way, we keep our eyes fixed. We re-calibrate. If our gaze remains on Jesus, the north star, we have a direct path home.
Wise men brought expensive gifts. They laid them at the feet of a child who couldn’t yet know what each one of them meant. We, too, will lay down our gifts, our crowns, at the feet of Jesus. Except He knows full well the value of our worship and the sacrifice of our gifts. He also understands the sojourn. He made it Himself. Eyes fixed on His Father, He was led to glory through many trials and tribulations.
Jesus, I’m looking at the horizon and not at my feet. Amen