Wise Men

And Otherwise



“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem” (Matthew 2:1).


During the Christmas season, nearly every pageant will include the “three” wise men.  We don’t really know how many “wise” men came from the East to worship the new-born King; we just assume that since there were three gifts mentioned that there were three men who presented them.  Some of what we include in our pageants is a product of our imagination, but one thing we do know—the Magi were wise!  They came from a far place to view and worship the King that they had been waiting for.  They chose to spend a great deal of their time watching the heavens for His Star and to travel the distance necessary to find Him.


They were wise when they harkened to the warning to return home another way instead of returning to Herod who sought the Baby solely for the purpose of destroying Him.  Herod was “otherwise” to think he could eliminate the King who came to earth as an infant and grew into a man who was willing to die for the sins of the world.  Satan thought he had Him cornered when Herod ordered all the infants less than two years of age slaughtered hoping this Babe would be among the slain children.


Adam and Eve chose to live by their wit, sense and reason instead of following the wisdom of God who told them to not partake of the forbidden tree’s fruit.  Satan’s appeal made them think it was reasonable and sensible to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit.  They became “otherwise.”


Pharaoh recognized the wisdom of Joseph who worked his way up in the ranks even in prison because he was wise.  Joseph was promoted to second-in-command of Egypt and was able to save not only the Egyptians during the famine but his own family as well.


Because Solomon asked for wisdom to rule his people and not riches and honor, God gave him his request and then added riches and honor.  An incident concerning two mothers proved his wisdom, when he ordered the disputed child halved and each mother claiming it to each receive a half.  The real mother cried out at the decision and wanted to just surrender the child to the other woman to save its life.  Solomon knew that would happen and easily solved the problem and gave the child to its real mother.  A wise decision.


Mary was wise when she was visited by an angel bringing a special mission for her.  She humbly listened as the angel unfolded her part in God’s plan for the birth of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.  She kept in her heart all the wonderful things she was told and observed the Child as He grew into the Man who would be the Redeemer.  Joseph was wise when he chose to heed the message he received about his pregnant bride-to-be and became the guiding father-figure of Jesus on earth.  He accepted the fact that his Mary was impregnated by an overshadowing of the Holy Ghost and would give birth to a very special Baby!


We send our children to elementary and high school and then on to college or training to make them wise and able to live independently.  Many will achieve great learning, but will not be wise in the ways of the Lord God unless they follow Him and adhere to His teaching.  Sadly, education is failing our youth by attempting to remove all traces of God in the education system.  Some “otherwise” professors and teachers seem bent on destroying the faith-base of their students.  Those who would like to include God in their curriculum are prohibited by their superiors who succumb to the pressure of the godless “otherwise.”   Wise parents will instill an unshakable under-girding of faith in their children from infancy until they are out of their reach, so they will be established in the face of anti-God pressures they are sure to encounter.


If there is a prayer that has high priority for a Christian, it must be one that pleads for wisdom to follow the Lord in total submission and obedience.  That prayer must surely make God smile and one He is eager to answer and make us wise!

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).


It is not super intelligence and adeptly talented persons God is looking for (though He delights in using them when they are willing!).  He is not looking for ability so much as availability.  Just because one is able doesn’t mean he is pliable enough for God to use, but one who is available can be made wise by God to perform great things for His Kingdom.  Sometimes, those who are “wise in their own eyes” will not hear instruction and be truly wise (Proverbs 3:7, 8:33).  Proverbs 9:9 also says if you teach a wise man, he will even get wiser, increasing in learning.

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul:  the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple….A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels” (Psalm 19:7, Proverbs 1:5).


When you celebrate Christmas in your home, community and church this year, resolve to become wise as you seek the King like the wise men of old who found Him and worshipped Him.  Be wise and increase in learning as you face the new year which will bring trials, tests and disappointments.  The wise are prepared for emergencies.  We are told to be “wise as serpents” watching out for the serpent, Satan, who wants to get us off onto the “otherwise” track.  We are to be wiser than the serpent who seeks our destruction.  Though wise, we are to be harmless as doves, humble before the all-wise God who wants to share His wisdom with us.


As harmless doves we are called to win souls.  Do you want God to call you “wise”?  Then be a soul winner.  A very wise man, Solomon, said to win souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30).  When a new soul is won, God has joy “in the presence of the angels” (Luke 15:10).  His joy must surely be toward both the wise soul winner and His new child.


Jesus likened a wise man, who built his house on a rock instead of the sand, to those who heard and did the things He said.  He went on to say that those who were wise and faithful would be promoted to greater things.

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household….Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing” (Matthew 24: 45, 46).

Of course, He means those who are humbly wise because they trust in Him, not those who are wise in their own eyes, which breeds arrogance.


“Otherwise” enemies that refuse to accept God’s offer to become His wise friends will become His footstools!

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1).


Would you like to give Jesus a gift for His birthday celebration?  Where would you look for a marvelous gift for Him?  You can’t find it anywhere at the finest stores.  In fact, just look in the mirror and see the gift He wants!  He gave His all for us; should we not give Him our best gift?  His gift is perpetual, liberally and freely given.


Not only does He want to receive each of us individually, He wants the nations of the world corporately to honor Him and receive His blessings. 

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…” (Psalm 33:12).

During this memorial of the birth of Jesus, as you give Him your gift, pray that our nation will turn and acknowledge that “God is the LORD” and honor Him instead of trying to evict Him from the nation’s institutions.


“Happy Birthday, Jesus!”

“We present ourselves wrapped in your righteousness, tied with a bow of Love for You on this special day set aside to honor Your humble birth and glorious exaltation.”


”Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace…” (Romans 15:13).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



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© There’s Good News December, 2007

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