Many Christians around the world are celebrating Epiphany today, commemorating the time when the wise men arrived to present gifts to Jesus. The Bible says nothing about them showing any deference to King Herod at all, or even giving him gifts. But when they arrived in Bethlehem, they “saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11 NLT).
Somehow they knew this child was much greater than any earthly king, and worthy of their worship. Did they know that he was the One who created everything that exists? Did they understand that He was (and is) the Light of the world? We don’t know exactly how much they truly understood, but the fact that they worshiped a child certainly says something.
Later John wrote about this child:
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:1-5).
Can We Relate?
The wise men left the comfort of their homeland to find someone greater than they had ever known. A popular saying these days around Christmastime is “Wise men still seek Him.” The wisdom of this world tells us that with enough hard work and study, we can become amazingly intelligent. But how do we know if we are wise, with knowledge and good judgment? Here are a few proofs we can start with.
- We begin with a proper humility before our Creator, knowing that He “opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).
- We ask for his wisdom above our own, for He knows all! “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking” (James 1:5).
- We trust that our Father will meet our needs for wisdom through the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
- We live out the wisdom we receive. “If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13).
Jesus promised that when we seek, we will find: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). We can trust that this prayer for wisdom will be answered by our Heavenly Father!
“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11).
On this Day of Epiphany at the beginning of a the new year, may we begin afresh to seek the true wisdom that is found in God alone, and may we simply trust and obey.
Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.