Chapter 2 - Finding Jesus
The finding of Jesus can ONLY come by revelation. Anybody can find the physical person, but the discovery of his kingly nature and the kingdom to which he belongs, coupled with a heart recognition that He is to be a subject of worship can only come by revelation. And the thing is, one doesn’t need a whole history of revelation to find Him. It doesn’t take practice per se.
The wise men from the East who came to Jerusalem saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him." have no apparent record of salvation history, exposure to the Jews, or their prophecies, or their oral traditions. Maybe they did at some point. But there is no mention of that here.
What is apparent here is that their hearts are open to revelation and that they are willing to travel great distances and go to great lengths to fulfill the spiritual hunger that is in their hearts. When God grants them revelation, they act with abandon. And again - notice the purpose: “...we...have come to worship him.”
These men find Jesus. They find, “the King of the Jews.” And they worship him. This is reflective of:
- Their seeking of revelation in the best way they know
- Their openness to revelation concerning things not currently of their normal religious tradition
- The ability of revelation to stir their passion for discovering truth
- Their willingness to act to lay hold of that to which revelation points.
- Their purpose and willingness to worship when they find Jesus.
And in the end, they do lay hold of it - but not without significant effort. They appear to have come from the area of Persia (East), which is a significant journey.
A key note here, is that Jesus is the object of worship. Even as a baby, not able to lay hold of His Divine right of worship, the Spirit of prophecy speaks of the need to worship Him. Open hearts all over the world discover this. There is an immediate impulse to push toward the natural end of worship in the discovery of Jesus. These men are clearly operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit, drawing them toward Jesus, toward the revelation of the mystery of the ages, and the end goal in their hearts and minds is to worship Jesus, King of the Jews.
How odd when you think of it. These men, by Matthew’s record, are the first to seek the King of the Jews (after the revelation to Mary & Joseph). They are the first in the revelation process. Not only are they first, but their seeking of him makes both Herod and “all Jerusalem with him” perplexed upon hearing the news (v.3). The word “perplexed” or “troubled” may have implications regarding Herod’s record of tyranny. If Herod was stirred up into a rage over a challenge to His throne, all Jerusalem knew he could become murderous. Thus the trickle effect.
However, it could be because of the “outsider” claim. Jerusalem could be in a stir, or troubled, because the religious leaders would be upset for many similar reasons to Herod. The Messiah would be a challenge to their position; to the religious status quo. In fact, their not knowing and being challenged or uncovered in their ignorance by three Gentiles who have the revelation before them, would certainly cause trouble. They would challenge them immediately - likely in a hostile way.
What is of note, however, is that Jerusalem, for the most part anyway, is virtually unaware of Jesus’ birth and existence. It is these foreigners, outside the faith of Israel, who brings attention to Him. Apparently, God is pleased to reveal His Messiah to outsiders, and moreover in such a way as to give them a kind of first fruit revelation. Jerusalem - you’d think - should have been well aware! A Virgin birth! The revelation experiences of John’s parents, Zechariah being a priest, angelic revelations, etc. So much was going on revelation wise that you would think rumours and stories would have begun regarding Mary’s child.
Yet this visit of the Magi seems to take Herod and Jerusalem completely off guard. God is amazing like that. He so often offends us to wake us up to revelation we are unaware of, or not looking for. Graciously He acts to reveal things to the “unreligious” and the “outsider” who are seeking for spiritual growth and who are open in their heart because they don’t have pre-notions and predetermined paths along which revelation can come.
God, if it is necessary, sends us outsiders to wake us up. What are we missing? What are you trying to show us that we simply aren’t getting? Help us to stay humble, unpretentious, open in our hearts and minds to the things you want to show us. Help us to stay in the flow of your salvation history, your revelatory stream, with a heart willing to embrace what you show us.