60 seconds with the general director Dec/Jan 1976/1977
Ten words – that’s all the Wise Men used to ask one of the most searching and provocative questions of all time,
“Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” (Matt. 2:2)
If one thinks about it, there is a certain irony about their inquiry. It suggests that the Wise Men were not wise because they knew all the answers, but because they asked the right question. Their question evidenced great spiritual insight. For although the Wise Men didn’t know precisely where He was to be found, they knew what He was to be Iike.
They understood that He was human. They inquired, “Where is he who is BORN King of the Jews?” They realized that the One they sought that day was of Adam’s race. He was of the seed of a woman. And what the first Adam lost through sin in the Garden of Eden, the second Adam would recapture through righteousness at Golgotha. They were seeking a man.
They understood that He was divine. They inquired, “Where is he who is BORN KING of the Jews?” No man is born a king. A man may be born into a royal family – he may be born a prince – he may be born to one day become a king – but only the One the Wise Men sought was born King. For although He experienced physical birth in an obscure village in the Judean hills of a little-known land, He was at one and the same time the pre-existent Son of God. How precise the words of the inspired penman, “A child is born, a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6a). In time and space on the planet earth He took a human body, but He had dwelt eternally with the Father. He was born King because He was God.
They understood that He was from the nation of Israel. They inquired, “Where is he who is BORN KING of the JEWS?” These were Wise Men from the East, probably Babylon. Why should they make the long, difficult and dangerous journey to worship a Jewish king in the insignificant land of Israel? There can be but one answer, these men were biblicists – they believed God’s Word. They knew that it was through the seed of Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, that the world Redeemer would come (Gen. 12:3), and they found Him in Bethlehem, where a thousand years earlier David, the first divinely-appointed Jewish king had been born.
When they found Him, they worshipped – they worshipped Him who was and is wholly man, wholly God and, according to the flesh, a Jew. Unlike every other man who is born to live, the Christ Child was born to die. He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. The shadow of the cross fell silently, but irrevocably across the manger.
The Wise Men from the East didn’t know all the answers, but they knew the right question. They realized that the One they sought and found was infinitely more than a helpless child. He was God in flesh – the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Sovereign of the universe and the Savior of all who put their trust in Him.
WISE MEN SEEK HIM STILL.
Marvin J. Rosenthal