1. Wisdom Produces Care and Action
Matthew records that when Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem with their stated objective to worship Jesus (Matt 2:1-2). While we do not know how long they traveled, historians believe that they must have traveled at least 800 miles.
1.1 Knowledge Without Wisdom
When King Herod asked the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law regarding where Christ was to be born, they answered by quoting prophet Micah (Matt 2:5). So even when these “chief priests and teachers of the law” knew, they did not seem to care to even pay a visit to a nearby place. They had no interest in truth/worship.
2. Love for Religion, Not for Truth
2.1 Self-Serving Religion
Like many religious leaders throughout history, their (“chief priests and teachers of the law”) love for religion is not out of love for truth. They just love religion because religion is the source of their political and/or social power and in many cases even money/livelihood.
2.2 Genuine Quest for Truth
The wise men from the east, on the other hand, may not have had access to prophesy of Micah, but out of their genuine quest for truth, scrambled to gather and put together obscure clues (they saw a star?), that led them directly to Jesus.
As Alistair Begg said, “God will not pander to our intellectual arrogance, but will respond and cater to our intellectual integrity”. As Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart”.
3. Mark of True Worship
The mark of true worship is that it causes us to focus on God and to care for others (and drives away our selfishness). That is what led the wise men to a hard journey of hundreds of miles to worship God. When they saw Jesus, they “fell down and worshiped Him” (Matt 2:11).
3.1 Selfishness Sabotages Worship
On the other hand, selfishness sabotages worship. That is why the self-serving religious leaders and preachers of the scriptures, though they had access to the prophecy of Micah (and all of scripture), even though living in a short distance from the birthplace of Jesus – yet couldn’t care less!