I know it’s only late April, but I want to remind you of a key point in a story that we normally here only at Christmas time. Matthew 2:1-12 tells of the wise men that came from the east to Jerusalem to worship the baby Jesus. Herod, the king of Judea at the time, had become troubled after hearing that a child had been born that may one day grow up to become “King of the Jews”. After learning that the wise men were in Jerusalem seeking to worship this new king, Herod met privately with them and told them to “Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also (v.8). That sounds like a clever idea, except that he was lying. He wanted to find the child, but only to kill him in order to protect his throne. After finding the child in Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph, the wise men worshipped Him and presented gifts (v.11). Then a very important thing happened, which is really the focus of this word today. Matthew 2:12 says, “And being warned of God that they should not return to Herod, ‘they departed into their own country another way.” Don’t miss the significance of that statement. They had come searching for the baby Jesus. They had found Him and remained in His presence for a while. They had worshipped Him and given Him gifts. And then they “went home another way”. They didn’t leave the way they came!
Each of us must deal with the sometimes-difficult issues of life. None of us are perfect. We all have our problems. But when we come into the presence of Jesus, whether in a church service or in our own prayer closet, we are to bring those things with us and give them to Him. Even though He already knows, He wants us to tell Him what’s going on in our lives. He wants us to confess our weaknesses, our needs, and most of all our sin. He wants to forgive us and bring about a change in our lives. We sometimes don’t think about the story of the wise men until the Christmas season. But no matter what time of the year it is, we should always remember that when we come and worship in the presence of Jesus, we should always go home “another way.” I pray today in Jesus’ name that you won’t leave here like you came.