When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. – Matthew 2:12
The wise men who followed the star to see Jesus came from the east of Jerusalem, and they came to worship the long expected King of Israel. Why? They looked forward to a new age of peace, righteousness, and joy. They looked forward to the fulfillment of prophecy and the hope of all mankind. So do we.
The mysterious origins of these wise men or magi have never been fully solved, but it is clear that they had knowledge of the prophecy of the coming Messiah. The ancient Jewish philosopher Philo wrote of the greatness of the school of the magi in Persia, east of Israel, and perhaps these men came from there. Also, in generations before, the Prophet Daniel lived and served first the Babylonian and then the Persian kings as master of the magi or wise men. A man of great faith and understanding, Daniel would influence generations of leaders and scholars in the east during his sojourn there. So it should come as no real surprise that they understood the signs of of the coming of the Son of Man who would bring in an everlasting kingdom (Daniel 7:13-14).
Still, the faith of these mysterious men amazes me. They followed after promises that were around 600 years old and others far older to the dawn of time. Today we too look for the return of our Lord and Savior much as they looked for His birth. We look for the final fulfillment of His sovereign kingdom and the resolution of all things. Will we rejoice when we see the signs of His coming? Will we follow those to fall at His nail pierced feet? What gifts will we bring? What gifts could we bring to the King of Kings?
Jesus’ return may bring an end to nearly everything we know. Yet, let us say with the Apostle John at the conclusion of the Revelation, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20)