Dear Readers,

Text: Matthew 2:1-12

A few years ago, I came across a sign outside Tangs Shopping Center which read, “Even Wise Men Seek Jesus”. This signs finds its basis from Matthew 2:1-12, which is the account of the wise men seeking to find the newly-born Christ. Indeed, there were wise men of old who sought Jesus. But why should we seek Jesus?

In the passage today, we find two types of seekers.

Seek to Destroy

The first type of seeker is exemplified by King Herod. He was known as Herod the Great and reigned over the Judean region from 37 to 4 B.C. He was a great builder, who prided himself in his many magnificent projects and monuments. This included renovating and beautifying the Temple in order to win the favour of the Jews. He was also renowned as a ruthless man, who will kill even his own family members in order to consolidate his power on the throne.

Herod became troubled when he heard that the wise men from the east were come to Jerusalem to seek for Jesus. These wise men were magi from Persia who probably learned about the Messiah from the writings and testimonies of Daniel some five hundred years ago. Their description of Jesus as “King of the Jews” troubled Herod. Herein is another threat to his political power. In order to find the location of Jesus, Herod commanded the Jewish religious leaders to tell him where Christ would be born. They pointed to the Old Testament Scriptures which declared that Christ would be born in Bethlehem. This very Christ would also be the Governor which will rule His people Israel.

Having established where Christ is born, Herod told the wise men to seek for Jesus diligently. He deceitfully declared to them that he was an earnest seeker just like them who wanted to worship Christ. But the truth is that he wanted Christ dead. His true motives were revealed when he later ordered all the children in Bethlehem to be killed who were under two years old. So not only did wise men seek Jesus, but also a king. But this king sought to destroy Jesus and not to worship! Jesus must be eliminated at all cost.

Herod died shortly after the killing after the children of Bethlehem in 4 B.C. No man can escape the divine judgement of God.

Seek to Worship

On the other hand, the wise men from the east also sought Jesus. But their motive was not to kill but to worship. The sincerity of their worship is displayed in the gifts which they brought before baby Jesus. Not only was there gold, but also frankincense and myrrh which were two of the most precious perfumes in the east. Consider also how they had to travel approximately 1600 miles just to worship Christ. Remember, there were no motor vehicles, trains or planes in those days!

We must also consider the significance of the worship of the magi. In those days, it was not uncommon for the people to worship their own king. Some kings such as the Roman emperor were worshipped as Gods. But here are magi from Persia who came all the way to worship a Jewish King. By doing so, they not only acknowledge Jesus as fully God and man, but this also indicated their understanding of Jesus as the ONLY living and true God. Here was the theanthropos (God-man) who was born to take away the sins of the world. Salvation is only through Him. Christ is worthy of worship. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.


Dear reader, which type of seeker are you? Are you one who seek Jesus just to oppose Him? Or will you seek Jesus humbly to worship Him? Know you not that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”? But God sent His only begotten Son into the world to suffer and to die for our sins. Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood to cleanse away our sins. He was buried, and then rose again on the third day for the justification of our sins. Will you not then repent of your sins and believe in Him? May you be a true seeker of Jesus! Amen.

Pr Clement Chew