I’m from the East. I grew up on Long Island, just outside of New York City. Actually, I’ve been spending the rest of my life trying to get over that! I am just kidding, you know. I love New York, and I’m proud to be from the East.
There’s another east, though, that’s farther east than New York. It’s the Far East. When Matthew in his gospel tells the story of the Magi coming to worship Christ, in Matthew 2:1 he says, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod, the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.”
The word “east” is a Greek word that really means “a rising of light or dawn.” Its root simply means “to rise up.” Well, since the sun rises in the east, this word became the word for “the East.”
Now Jerusalem is in the Middle East. So these wise men must have come from much farther east. Some have thought they probably came from Arabia. Others think it was more likely Persia or India. But there is a clue in the Bible’s story that helps us to pinpoint it more accurately. These wise men were stargazers – or astronomers. Well, history tells us that the only Magi interested in astronomy and astrology, were the Babylonian Magi. So, they were most likely from Babylon.
Now when you think about it, the Magi traveled all the way from Babylon to Jerusalem – a trip of about 700 miles (a journey most likely made on camels). That’s amazing! And the Magi did that just to bring gifts to baby Jesus and to worship Him.
Let me ask you a question. To what lengths are you willing to go to show your affection for Christ? Are you willing to put yourself out for Him? Are you like the wise men who came all the way from the East just to worship Jesus?
Say—this Christmas season, be wise! Go the extra mile to show your love for Christ.