Matthew 2:1-12 — How Committed Are We to Seeking Christ? Do We Have That Magi-like Commitment?

Posted: August 23, 2015 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 2:1-12 — Are you all-in? Are you committed? These questions are often easy to answer when it comes our favorite football team.

How often do we seek Jesus? Here in the nativity story, we see these wise men traveling great distances to see Jesus and to bring gifts to Him. They traveled probably 500 miles to see Jesus. They may not sound like much to you and me in the 21st century where we can drive 500 miles in about 7 hours, maybe as long as 8 if you stop for food. In those days, travel by camel was maxed out at about 10 miles per day. So, it would have taken them about 50 days to reach Bethlehem from the time they set out. These guys really wanted to see Jesus.

The magi traveled great distances to see Jesus. How often do we put forth effort to see Jesus? We often expect Jesus to come looking for us and, yes, He pursues the lost sheep relentlessly, but how often do we really seek Him as His followers. We think God should explain Himself to us. We think He should prove who He is to us and give us gifts. Just think of how often we pray to Him in a selfish manner. Father, give me! Father, grant me! Father, this is what I need to happen! God, if you do this for me, I promise to do this for you! Should we not be seeking God’s will and not our own? We should be seeking to know what God wants us to do and not the other way around. We should be seeking to know Him more intimately. The wise men knew of the prophesied Messiah, but they went and sought Him out. They seeked and they found. It was not enough for them to just know of the Messiah. They wanted to see Him personally. How personal is our relationship with God? Do we seek Him? Do we seek to know His will for our lives?

These men undoubtedly sacrificed time to seek to be closer to the Messiah. How often do you and I sacrifice time for Jesus? How often do you and I prefer to sit safely in our pews or seats on Sunday morning and that’s it? How often do we what is necessary to seek to be closer to Jesus? We often participate in the ministry of Jesus only when its convenient to our schedules. I will serve on a ministry team as long as it does not interrupt my work schedule and my play time. We make excuses as to why we cannot serve. Sometimes we don’t make excuses at all. We just don’t show up. That service opportunity is just to inconvenient; it’s right in the middle of my Sunday afternoon nap time. That service opportunity is while I will be in Columbia for the Carolina game or I will be in Clemson to see the Tigers play. It’s summertime, we will be at Six Flags that day. We will be on vacation that day. Our time is often selfishly protected. Being there at church on Sunday is good enough. The magi thought enough of Jesus to drop what they were doing and travel 50 days to Bethlehem to meet the Messiah. Yet, we can’t break away from our TV set to help repair the bathroom of an old lady who cannot afford to fix it. Yet, working two services on Sunday so that those who come on our church campus can have an experience of worship that is seamless and all they have to worry about is worship. Two services? Be at church for more than 1 hour? Think about the time not just getting there but getting back home for the magi – 50 days up to Bethlehem and 50 days back. That was over three months! They wanted to see Jesus. They took the time. They made it a priority in their lives. Do we who know Jesus Christ as our Savior need to look at the magi for an example of willingness?

These men undoubtedly sacrificed resources to seek to be closer to the Messiah. How deep is our commitment to Jesus? How much of our resources are we willing to part with to be obedient to Him? The magi as important men in the Parthian empire most likely would have had a large entourage of servants with them to attend to their needs. For a journey of 50 days up and then 50 days back, they would have needed many supplies for the journey. It took some resource planning for sure even before they left home. They committed, most likely, some serious resources to make this journey. Why? They wanted to meet Jesus face to face. They wanted to see the Messiah. No matter the cost to them personally, they were committed to spend it. How often do you and I not even think of the church when we get our paychecks? How often is our generosity toward the cause of Christ not even in our budgets? How often do we make it an afterthought? How often to we not think about it at all until we feel guilty during the giving time during Sunday services? We crack open our wallet hoping that we have some cash left in there and pick out a $5 bill, a $10 bill, or maybe even a $20 bill. We put it in the offering plate and we feel good that we actually had some cash on us this Sunday. The magi committed major resources to meet the King of Kings. Why can’t you and I have that same level of financial commitment to ensure that the gospel is spread far and wide. We talk and sing about how there is a world in need out there but how much of my resources am I willing to commit to the cause of spreading the gospel far and wide. The magi thought Jesus was worth spending whatever resources were necessary so that they could meet Him. Just meet Him and honor Him. How bout you and me? Is Jesus worth obeying in my finances and giving generously to the local body of Christ or is Jesus just worth what I have left over in my wallet? I would like to think that you and I have magi-like willingness to commit our resources in a meaningful to be obedient to God’s Word.

Father, help us to see you and seek you and to do your will. Help us to not think so much about ourselves and what is convenient and easy for us. Help us to think of you first. Help us to put you first in everything we do. Help us to be willing to go the extra mile, the extra 500 miles, or whatever is necessary to seek your face. Help us to have magi-like commitment to seeking you and what you want us to do in obedience to you. Amen.

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