As the Sunday school classes made their Christmas presentations this year, like many adults in the audience, I sat back smiling and taking it all in. Once I was even moved to tears. Our theme this year was WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM from Matthew 2:1-12. After the fourth or fifth presentation, I noticed a reoccurring theme developing. Sort of theme within the theme. It was WORSHIP. After seeing His star - the proof that the King of the Jews had been born - the wise men followed it from the East all the way to Jerusalem, with one intention in mind: to worship Him.
Later that day I was moved to review other events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ in the scriptures. I was looking for more instances of worship, and I found them. Mary’s song of worship after receiving the prophecy of His birth (Luke 1:46-55); the sounds of worship by the multitude of angels as they announced His birth (Luke 2:13-14); and the acts of worship by the shepherds after witnessing His birth (Luke 2:20). And this all happened before the biblical account of the wise men.
After Jesus was born, the scriptures state that the wise men "saw His star" and followed it until it rested over the place where Jesus lived. Historians say that by that time, Jesus was about two years old and scriptures bear proof of this in Matthew 2:11, referring to Jesus as a young child, not a baby, and the location where they were as a house and not a manger. But more often than not, the images you will find of the wise men either show them on camels traveling across the desert or standing at the nativity scene each with a gift in his hands.
It's very rare that you'll find an image of the wise men kneeling or bowed in worship. I was able to find a few images online where one wise man is kneeling, but the other two were always shown standing. And even then, they’re each holding a gift in their hands. Some would say that their giving is also an expression of worship, but let's take another look at Matthew 2:11.
When the wise men arrived at the house where Jesus was, “When they saw the young child with his mother, they fell down and worshipped Him. Then, after opening their treasure chests, they presented gifts to Him”.
Although the wise men brought precious gifts with them to present to the King, their first thought was to present themselves to the King and to worship Him. They followed the star from the East, through Jerusalem, all the way to Bethlehem for one purpose: to worship Him. Not to receive a blessing. Not for fortune or fame. Not for healing. Not for long life, or wisdom, or favor. But just to worship Him.
A present day reminder to us that regardless of what gifts we have to offer Jesus, our primary reason for coming into His presence should be to worship Him.