Friday, December 18
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
In Ecclesiastes Solomon wrote I commend joy… (8:15). If you have ever read Ecclesiastes that might surprise you. I believe from the Bible that joy is known and treasured and valued most by those who have also known and valued pain and sorrow and difficulty. The Preacher, Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, is an excellent example of this truth.
The Wise Men may have been similar people to Solomon. No one knows the life of the Wise Men. They seemed to be people who were waiting, searching, and often disappointed. They were looking for some reason to hope that was beyond themselves. As Pascal would say, they had this God-shaped hole in their hearts that they were trying to fill. Even on their trip they had made it as far as Jerusalem, only to be disappointed again for a time.
Then, as they left Jerusalem, they saw the star again. Their words are very difficult to translate because the English just doesn’t seem to capture their joy, maybe because words themselves cannot describe their joy! They had mega-great joyful joy! Remember who is mega-rejoicing and who is not. Pagan Babylonian astrologers are overjoyed at finding the star again, whereas no one else seems to care.
I cannot help but believe that these non-believers were by faith trusting in God, as the angels said and prophesied to the shepherds. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. (Luke 2:11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10–11) This was the best news they had ever heard. It was and is for all people. The Wise Men were overjoyed to find Jesus, see him, and believe in Jesus – how about you?