The story of the wise men is about Gentiles who seek the king of the Jews and find him. All through the Bible, God promises that if anyone – believer or unbeliever – seeks him wholeheartedly, they will find him.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us AC 17.26-27
I love those who love me,
and those who seek me diligently find me PR 8.17
“Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. IS 55.6-7
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. HEB 11.6
We’d never seek the Lord on our own, but he seeks and draws us. When Adam sinned he hid from God, but God sought him out. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Jesus told the woman at the well that the Father is seeking worshippers.
“He rewards those who seek him.” Even if you don’t yet believe in Jesus, IF you seek him, you will find him. Do you think that if you cry out to Jesus to know him, to have him in your life, to help you and change you that he would turn you down? If you have believed in Jesus, CONTINUE TO SEEK HIM. He rewards those who seek him. This is the message the wise men have for us.
These “wise men” were probably Persian priests who were experts in astrology, astronomy, interpretation of dreams, and occult arts, similar to the Babylonian “magicians and enchanters” “sorcerers” in the book of Daniel. They came seeking the king of the Jews.
“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Somehow they had heard about the prophecies of the Messiah, and believed. I don’t know if they believed he was God, but they had come to worship him. They were “from the east,” most likely Babylon in Persia, 800 miles from Jerusalem. This is the distance from my house an hour east of Pittsburgh to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It would be like riding on a camel (though we don’t know if the Magi rode camels) from here across Ohio and Indiana and Illinois and almost 100 miles into Iowa. If they were able to travel 20 miles a day, that would be 40 days of traveling through mostly desert probably mostly at night. The wise men had little knowledge of the true God, yet traveled hundreds of miles for weeks to seek Jesus. When summoned by Herod, the religious leaders in Jerusalem could immediately quote the Old Testament that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. They could have walked the 5 miles to Bethlehem in a single day, yet none bothered to seek the new king at all.
The wise men didn’t see the star after it’s initial appearance in Babylon. So when they saw it again, “they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Matthew piles up the words to show how glad they were. They believed that finding Jesus would bring them great joy.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. JE 29.13
Even when God sent his people into exile for their sins, he said that if they sought him with all their heart they’d find him. God still loved them and wanted to reveal himself to them. Maybe you’ve sinned against God again and again, yet he still wants you to seek him and find him.
How do we seek Jesus? By reading the Bible and praying, worshipping and listening to preaching and teaching with other believers, and fellowshipping with other Christians , by reading books. And the great thing: God is ANXIOUS AND WILLING to reveal himself to us. He’s not like a celebrity who has bodyguards to keep us away. We’re not bothering him. He appealed to the believers in Laodicea, who had become lukewarm:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
“I’m knocking at the door seeking you. If anyone hears me and opens the door – Open the door I’ll come in and fellowship with you.”
Don’t quit seeking God for help, for joy, for your needs and desires. He promises to reward those who seek him (HEB 11:6). Keep asking, seeking, knocking for your children’s salvation and well-being. Keep asking Jesus to make you fruitful and strengthen you and cause you to love him more. Keep asking him to fulfill every promise in his word. No prayer is wasted. Even ones he seems to have not answered. Don’t give up. Seek Jesus in the morning when you wake up. Seek him all day long.