December 21, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Let’s continue with the wise men going Home Another Way. The scripture is Matthew 2:9 through 12:
When…[the wise men] heard the king [Herod], they departed; and be-
hold, the star which they had seen in the east went before them, till it
came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the
star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come
into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell
down, and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures,
they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being
divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they
departed for their own country another way.
What Way did they go Home? We don’t know the route they took coming to Jerusalem – and then Bethlehem – or the route they took going home. If they were from Babylon, they probably arrived by following long-established trade routes northwest up the Euphrates River and then south to Jerusalem. But it says in verse 12, that they went Home Another Way: “…being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.” The another way was probably a short route from Bethlehem in a different direction, soon accessing the traditional trade route – the way they arrived.
But let’s explore a different meaning of Home Another Way:
• In our last blog, we discussed how these magi probably found in the Jewish sacred texts the prophecy of Balaam in Numbers 24:17: “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel….” This ancient prophecy links a Star and a Scepter – the Scepter being the symbol of authority for the One who is God’s choice to rule the world!
And when they arrived at King Herod’s palace in Jerusalem, we are told in Matthew 2:2, the wise men asked, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? ” They must have read other prophecies such as Psalm 2:6 through 12; Isaiah 9:6 & 7 and Zechariah 9:9 & 10 to know the King of the Jews had been born!
The point is this: It takes God-given faith to believe – to even comprehend – the Scriptures! As it says in I Corinthians 2:14 (God’s Word to the Nations): “A person who isn’t spiritual doesn’t accept the teachings of God’s Spirit. He thinks they’re nonsense. He can’t understand them because a person must be spiritual to evaluate them.” God was obviously working in their lives and giving them spiritual understanding!
• The magi also told Herod in Matthew 2:2, “…we have…come to worship Him…[this One] born King of the Jews….” And in Matthew 2:11 it is written, “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshiped Him.”
But worship of anyone or anything other than God Almighty is forbidden in Scripture! (See Exodus 20:3-5; Leviticus 26:1; Matthew 4:10). And did not Paul write this related truth in I Corinthians 12:3? “…no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”
In bowing down and worshiping the Child Jesus, the wise men were acting upon their God-induced faith in the Messiah/King! They were, in effect, calling Him Lord! So if they came with any doubts about their journey to find the King of the Jews, they left changed by their successful quest! They truly went Home Another Way!
Do you need to go Home Another Way? Have you been trying to find your way in life, but have run into dead ends? Then try what the wise men did – “…they…fell down, and worshiped…” Jesus Christ! He is “…the way, the truth and the life…” (John 10:10)! And He can produce in your life – as He has in many others – “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.” (Galatians 5:22, 23 – Lexham English Bible). You will find no other who will lead you home!
This Christmas, follow the wise men!