December 24, 2022
Read: Matthew 2:9-12
The 12th day of Christmas
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
To recap from yesterday: the wise men (sometimes translated as Magi or Kings) came from ‘the East’ (likely Persia) to find Jesus because they saw a change in the stars. But the wise men didn’t seem to know where to find Jesus. They knew He is the King of the Jews and the star was in the direction of the Jewish capital Jerusalem so that's where they went. In Jerusalem they met Herod and both parties exchanged information so everyone knew both when and where Jesus (king of the Jews) was born. Yesterday we talked about what Herod did with this information. Today we are going to look at the wise men.
The response of the wise men really started back in their own country, when they saw the star and began their journey. In today’s verses we see the culmination of that journey. When they arrive, they do 3 things:
Rejoiced exceedingly with great joy
Gave Jesus their treasures
Their response of worship and generosity has become their legacy. Our nativity scenes have 3 wise men because there are 3 gifts listed (gold, frankincense, and myrrh). As I thought about the wise men giving these extravagant gifts, I was reminded of the woman with the Alabaster flask.
Her story goes something like this: a woman finds Jesus having dinner at Simon the Pharisee’s house in Bethany. She washes Jesus’s feet with her hair and tears then covers (anoints) them with an expensive ointment from an alabaster flask. This story is described in each of the gospels with a slightly different focus. Luke’s version (Luke 7:37-50) focuses on the forgiveness of sins and describes the anointing as an act of love. John’s version (John 12:1-8) identifies the woman as Mary - Matha and Lazarus’s sister, the woman known for sitting at Jesus’s feet (Luke 10:39).
Both the wise men’s gifts and Mary’s gift were given as a response to knowing who Jesus is. The wise men describe Him as King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2). Mary met Jesus as saviour (Luke 7:47-48). Their response to these revelations was to pour out their treasures in worship - to love God with the most valuable things they had.
Please take a few minutes to do the guided reflection below. I bless you with the courage to see Him rightly and know Him as your King, your Saviour, and as the one who is Worthy.
Begin with 3 minutes of silent prayer becoming aware of God’s presence and the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Ask Jesus to reveal something of Himself to you and write down what He says. If you are really struggling to see Him, I’d recommend reading Revelations 2.
Next, think of a treasure that you’re holding onto. It could be a person, a dream/desire, or a physical object. If nothing (or too many things!) comes to mind, ask the Holy Spirit to highlight something for you. Picture yourself holding this treasure and then giving it to Jesus. You could lay it down, hand it to Him, or put it in a jar and smash it at His feet.
Written by: Liz Guest