Theme: Jesus the Only Way
In this week’s lessons, we focus on the wise men’s route back home, and look at what that means for us today.
Scripture: Matthew 2:12
Finally, the way of the Lord is the only way. By that, I don’t mean that there are no other ways that contend for our attention. But Jesus did say that he is the way, and that no one comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6). He is the only way that will get us to our goal. What is our goal? Our goal is to be with God and to have fellowship with him forever and ever. He made us in his image, and our goal is to be molded into the image of Christ that we might be all that he intends us to be, and to be made like Christ perfectly in the life to come.
For those who are already Christians, continue following him in the way that he gives. Difficulties and trials will come in the Christian life. God sends some of them in order to strengthen us. Rejoice that you are in that way, including all the hardships that come with it.
On the other hand, if you’re not yet going in that way, you must do it. The wise men did this, and there were several things in their story that were significant. First, they sought Jesus. There could have been many things that would have deterred them from that. They could have sought for more riches, comfort or fame, but none of those things would have caused them to leave their country and make a long journey to Bethlehem in order to find the Christ. Yet this is exactly what they did. If you are not yet in that way of peace and blessing, I leave you with that challenge. You must seek Christ, and if you sincerely seek him, you will find him as he is presented to you in the gospel by the grace of God.
Second, like the wise men, having found him, you must worship him and present yourself and your gifts to him. What does it mean to present yourself to him? It means to acknowledge him as he is, and that you are his servant. The gifts the wise men brought have symbolic significance for us as well. As they came with their gift of gold, they acknowledged that Jesus Christ was a king. You must acknowledge that he is your king, indeed, he is the King of kings, the one who rightly must rule over your life. The wise men also came with their frankincense. Frankincense was what you used in worship. So this gift speaks of Christ’s divinity, who therefore is to be worshiped. Finally, they came with their gift of myrrh, which was what one used in embalming. It was a strange gift for anybody but Christ because the myrrh spoke of the fact that he was sent into this world to die for sinners. So when you come to him, you find him as the one who came to die. Is the Lord Jesus Christ these things to you? Is he your King, God and Savior? He can be all this for you in this hour. If you come to him, he will set this glorious way before you, and you will never want to return to your old way again.
What does it mean for Christ to be the only way? Why do unbelievers find other ways to be more appealing?
What are difficulties and trials in the Christian life sometimes meant to do?
Reflection: Is your life characterized by joy, even in the midst of suffering? Pray for more joy in your life, and then seek to put that fruit of the Spirit into practice.
For Further Study: Download and listen for free to James Boice’s message, “Four Gifts for Christmas.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)