The Wisemen came from the East to Jerusalem asking, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” These star gazers, dreamers, magicians, advisors to earthly kings came to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, the most likely place for a King to be born, seeking its King. Herod was justifiably shaken. These men had come seeking the rightful King and the usurper was scared. He called the religious leaders asking where the Christ was supposed to be born. He knew enough to know what they were seeking. But when the religious leaders answered his questions, why didn’t they follow? Why did they stay in Jerusalem instead of seeking the King as well? Possibly for the same reason that keeps people now from seeking Him.
First, I think, is pride. We think we don’t need Him. “I’m a good person. When I get to that moment of judgement, my good will outweigh the bad and I’ll go to heaven.” This is wrong. Romans 3:23 says we’ve ALL fallen short of God’s standard. And Isaiah 64:6 says that all our good deeds are like filthy rags in comparison to God’s righteousness. In short, I’m not good enough on my own.
The second reason might be denial. They may have been thinking that there was no way this was the Messiah, Immanuel, God with us. People now say He was a good man, maybe even a prophet, a fake, just another man, but not the Son of God, not the only way to God.
I think the third reason is fear. They knew what kind of man Herod was; he’d killed others who might threaten his hold on the throne. He was not a good man and they truly feared what he’d do. We see what he did to all of the baby boys in Bethlehem; he killed them. But what do we fear today? We fear others opinion of us. We fear persecution. We fear how our lives will be changed.
But those who are truly wise still seek Him. And if you are seeking Him, He will be found. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Seek the King.