Matthew / chapter 2 (read the chapter)
So, here’s a familiar story we all know—how the wise men came from the East to find the newborn king—and having just been through the annual Christmas season, it’s a story that’s fresh in mind. Still, it didn’t stop this verse from striking me in a new way today:
“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (vs 11)
These magi were, most likely, part of the noble class in their own country. They were certainly highly educated and very wealthy. They were likely the sort of people that we would look at and think, “They’ve got everything.” But, obviously, they didn’t. Even with all their wealth, all their education, and all their influence, something was missing, and they determined to find out what it was.
What else would have motivated these noble men to search for a Messiah that had been promised to a nation they were unconnected with? What sort of time was required to attain Scriptures that didn’t belong to their race and culture in order to study prophecies that hadn’t been given to their people? What personal cost was involved in traversing the continent(s) in search of a Savior?
Just imagine what might have been understood about the Messianic prophecies if the Israelites had studied their own Scriptures the way these foreigners had. Yet, when the magi arrived in Jerusalem, they found a nation of people who were sleeping, unaware that their own Messiah had been born.
Still, the magi were undeterred, and when they found Jesus, they offered to Him the treasures they had brought. How wise they were to understand that all treasure pales in comparison to The Treasure. And I’m not sure what they saw in the boy Jesus that confirmed their studies, but upon bowing down, they knew that they had found the something that was missing.
God is the greatest treasure.
Do we really believe this? Do we believe that to have the treasure of Him is greater than the treasures of family, security, peace, freedom, prosperity, education, and friendship? Do we believe that if we ignore The Treasure, then all of our other treasures will, in time, turn to dust and ash? Do we really believe that the poorest person who bows in front of this Treasure is wealthier than all the rich men in the world?
There may be a time coming soon when we’ll have to decide which treasure(s) we’re going to cling to. My prayer for you is that you will understand, as those magi did, that you can have every worldly treasure and still be missing something if you don’t have the greatest treasure.
And the greatest treasure is God.