If you were a wise man, would you have handed over the gold? I’m not sure I would have.
The wise men, or Magi, have always intrigued me. Who were these guys and what were they thinking? What took them on their journey, following a star in the sky with expensive gifts for a baby in a faraway land?
I imagine how it went down.
“Hi honey, sorry I’m late. The guys and I were checking out Gaspar’s new telescope, and we noticed a star announcing a baby king has been born in a faraway country. I’m just going to grab the gold we have saved for our superannuation to give him as a gift. The boys and I are heading on a road trip to find the king. See ya!”
We don’t know a lot about these guys, but we do know enough to realise that my scenario is wrong. These were wealthy, educated, devoted philosophers. But, what an incredible adventure they went on, all because they saw a star that represented a promise, and it called them into action.
Their journey took them to Jerusalem, where the King of the Jews should be born, but Jesus wasn’t there. The king should be in the palace, in a prominent, luxurious, secure place, but Jesus wasn’t there.
They searched the skies again, and overjoyed, followed the star to the house where Jesus was. A small, poor, insignificant house in the village of Bethlehem. This is not what they expected. This was no place for a king. Jesus didn’t look like a king, and his family didn’t resemble a royal family at all.
This is where the story gets interesting for me.
If it was me, I think I would have called the boys outside for a quiet word.
“Guys, I think we might have got this one wrong. Something doesn’t feel right. This is not what we expected. I’m not sure I’m going to part with my gold. I think we’ve made a mistake and we should just cut our losses and head home.”
But no. These guys had faith in what God had called them to do, and they went through with their plan.
Nothing made sense. Nothing was what they expected. But in faith, in obedience, trusting the prophecy and the star, they bowed down, worshiped, and handed over expensive gifts.
Sometimes God calls us, puts a dream in our hearts and a purpose for our work, and then when we get there, it’s not what we expected. The palace we were headed to turns out to be a lowly home in a village. There are no trumpets, no fanfare, no red carpet and no gold banners. It’s not what we expected, and it shakes up our faith.
Our journey can take unexpected turns to unwanted places; having a child with disabilities, a divorce, chronic illness, long-term unemployment, conflict, grief. Is there a place like this in your story? We find ourselves holding the riches of our hearts, ready to lay them down at the foot of a majestic king, only to arrive in an unexpected place. Do we still lay our treasure down?
Jesus is an unexpected King, and we will find him in unexpected places. I pray that like the Wise Men, you will have the courage and faith to lay your treasure down and worship him. Trust the call of God on your life, the passion he has placed in your heart, the purpose he has called you to. Follow the star. Don’t let the unexpected challenges deter you from the fullness of his blessing in your life. Jesus is there, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, in unexpected places.