DECEMBER 25, 2023



“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him’” (Matthew 2:1-2 New King James Version).

The Bible records different prophecies about the birth of Jesus. An unlikely person, Balaam the son of Beor, a diviner, predicted the birth of Jesus. He said in Numbers 24:17a, “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel” (New King James Version). Several years after, Christ the Messiah was born and what is believed to be fulfillment of Balaam’s prediction took place.

When Christ was born, the wise men saw His star in the East and went to seek Him and worship Him. “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him’” (Matthew 2:1-2 New King James Version). When they eventually saw Jesus, they worshipped Him and presented Him gifts:­ gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:9-11).

However, the same Jesus the wise men saw and worshipped, King Herod sought to kill because he saw Him as a threat to his throne. He thought because the wise men called the baby whose star they had seen the King of the Jews, He would dethrone him. He didn’t know that Jesus was not after his throne because His kingdom was not of this world, as He later said in John 18:36

Having been outwitted by the wise men who did not return to give him information about the king they were looking for after seeing Him, King Herod ordered the killing of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under in an attempt to kill Jesus. The prophet Jeremiah had prophesied the killing of the children thus, “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more” (Jeremiah 31:15 New King James Version). Matthew 2:17-18 also refers to the fulfilment of this prophecy.

Unknown to Herod, however, Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, had escaped with the baby and the mother to Egypt and were there until Herod was dead, in fulfilment of prophecy. Hosea 11:1 says, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son” (New King James Version). Matthew 2:15 refers to the taking of Jesus to Egypt as a fulfilment of prophecy.

Please note the difference between the attitude of the wise men to Jesus and Herod’s attitude. The wise men from the East took the trouble to seek Jesus to worship Him. They did when they finally saw Him and gave Him gifts. But Herod killed many children in an unsuccessful bid to kill Jesus. These are the two main attitudes people have towards Jesus today: positive and negative. Wise men still seek Jesus today, which is a positive attitude. But there are people like King Herod who reject Him. Some of them so hate the mention of the name of Jesus that they even kill His followers just as Herod sought to kill Jesus, and, in the process, killed many innocent children.

What is your attitude to Jesus? Are you like the wise men or Herod? Wise men still seek Jesus. They surrender their lives to Him because they realize that there is salvation in no other name, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which they can be saved (Acts 4:12). They acknowledge that they are sinners and they cannot save themselves but Jesus can save them because He was born for this purpose. An Angel of the LORD said to Joseph in a dream, “And she [Mary] will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 New King James Version).

All sinners are lost and must seek Jesus. Whoever seeks Him will surely find Him because He came to seek and save those who are lost (Luke 19:10). In other words, He is more eager to receive the sinners who come to Him. He says in John 6:37 that all that the Father gives Him will come to Him, and the one who comes to Him, He will by no means cast out. Wise men still seek Jesus. Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews, went to Jesus by night (John 3:1-2). He welcomed him and Nicodemus became His secret disciple (John 19:38). Come to Jesus today. He says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 New King James Version).  

Wise men still seek Jesus. Jesus says to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33a). But some people only seek the things that Jesus promises will be added to those who seek first the kingdom of God. Wise men still seek Jesus; they seek the kingdom of God. Jesus says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44 New King James Version). Those who are not wise may consider the action of this man as foolish. Why should he go and sell all that he had to buy just a field? But the man was wise. He didn’t buy just any field; he bought the treasure hidden in the field. The value of the treasure was more than the value of what he sold. Wise men still seek Jesus. There is nothing too much for them to forgo.

In a similar parable, Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls and when he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it (Matthew 13:45-46). Again, unwise people may consider the action of this merchant foolish. Why would he sell everything to buy just fine pearls? But he did so because the fine pearls were of great value. They had greater value than everything that he sold.

The kingdom of God has far greater value than any earthly possession. It must be sought above any other thing. What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul; or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36-37). The Rich Young Ruler who desired to have eternal life valued his wealth more than eternal life. He could not sell what he had, give it to the poor to have treasure in heaven, and come to follow Jesus (Matthew 19:21-22). This showed his wealth was his god, which, I believe, was what Jesus wanted to show him. He failed the test! He went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. Mark 10:17-27 also records the story of this man and the comments of Jesus.

Be wise; seek Jesus if you are not yet born again. Seek Him when there is time; seek Him before it is too late. “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6 New King James Version). Nothing is more important than this. Don’t reject Jesus. Come to Him today and follow Him. Wise men still seek Jesus.


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Father, I pray that those who are yet to come to Jesus Christ will seek Him and surrender their lives to Him. Everyone who is celebrating Christmas without Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will be born again this season in Jesus’ name.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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