“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16 (NKJV)
Why are the Wise Men called Wise Men? Surely not because they were rich because there are many affluent people who are neither very smart nor extremely wise. All we have to answer the question are their actions: They saw the star, decided to follow it, asked Herod for directions, found the baby, worshiped Him, gave Him gifts, receive a warning in a dream, and returned home by a different road.
Every one of their actions requires choices. After being curious about a new star they chose to study it. They used all their knowledge and resources, including questioning Herod. They prepared for a long journey, including gifts for many along the way. They did not block knowledge received from the Lord (a dream) by deciding only that which they could touch, see, taste, hear or smell was valid.
An interesting contrast to the Wise Men, are the obvious foolish choices which Herod made. He wanted only to be rich and powerful in his little tiny corner of the world. The Wise Men, of course, could have become and might have been wise rulers in their home country.
Throughout the Bible there are many other examples of wise and foolish actions or decisions. When Jesus told his followers to “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves,” he was calling them to make wise choices based on his teachings about the Father. That call continues through the years and comes to all who await His return. In this coming year, may we all seek to be wise.
© 2013 V. Colclasure