Let’s go back through the centuries to a night nearly 2000 years ago and focus on a caravan—a group of men traveling by camel. It’s an uncomfortable way to travel. The country they must pass through is rough, and the sun extremely hot. But this is no great problem because these men travel by night—they are following a star!
They have planned for a long journey, carrying enough food for themselves, their helpers, and the camels. The animals are loaded with clothing and gifts. Toiling over the hills, the men wipe the dust from their faces, for dust is everywhere, even in their eyes and mouths. They wonder how much farther they will have to travel. Yet they are excited! There’s not a thought of turning back.
Who are these men and where are they going? They are educated men who have studied the Scriptures as well as the sciences. Judging from the gifts they carry with them, they are wealthy. They come from the East, possibly Mesopotamia. And why are they traveling? They believe the promised Messiah has been born, and they want to worship Him.
As they approach Jerusalem, their anticipation grows. The end of their journey is close at hand. How excited they must be! Can you picture the Wise Men asking the gatekeepers, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him.” They expect the gatekeepers to say, “Yes, we have seen Him! Come, and we will show you the way.”
Instead, no one knows what they are talking about. King of the Jews? Star? The people of Jerusalem obviously have not been looking for Him. They aren’t even interested! So the Wise Men go to the king of Judea with their quest. The Bible tells us that when King Herod heard these things, he was troubled. Can you see him as he calls all his scribes and the chief priests and demands that they tell him where the Christ is to be born?
They tell him, “In Bethlehem!” It had been foretold by the prophet Micah and written in the Book. God had declared many years before exactly where the Savior was to be born and what signs would indicate His birth. Now the star is in the sky for all to see. But only those who are looking for Him take an interest in these things.
The Wise Men lose no time in heading for Bethlehem. Their excitement grows as they again follow the star. God has not forgotten them but is still leading. And the star leads them to the very place where Joseph and Mary are with the young Child, Jesus.
What joy fills the hearts of the Wise Men as they present their gifts! They have brought gold, a sign of wealth; frankincense, a perfume or a spice; and myrrh, a type of incense. They are not surprised to see a young Child, because they know God has led them and they can trust Him. They worship the Child as King of the Jews.
Their journey to find the promised Messiah has come to an end and they are not disappointed. God never disappoints His people when they seek for Him with an honest heart. The Wise Men leave to return to their homeland, happy and at peace. They have found what they were searching for and they are satisfied.
What are you searching for? Are you looking for good grades, popularity, friends, a good time— something that will be fun, or make you happy? Some pleasures last for only a short time, but there are also pleasures that will last forever.
One man in our Portland congregation testifies that when he was considering what it would mean to become a Christian he thought: If I lived to be a hundred years old with never an ache or pain or a care in this world, and had all the things that money could buy, but then missed Heaven, I wouldn’t have gained a thing. He made the right choice, and gave his life to the Lord.
Another man tells how he spent much of his life buying things for his collections. To him, that was happiness. And yet, after sixty-two years, he looked back over his life and said, “I looked for happiness in all the wrong places. All the stuff I have accumulated has not brought me peace.”
The world offers a lot of things, but one thing it can’t give is peace and everlasting happiness. This is only found in Jesus. Find Him for yourself today!