Blog / Journey to Worship

January 6 was the feast of Epiphany, a day many celebrate the visit of the Wise Men who traveled “from the east” to worship Jesus, “the king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:1-2, ESV). So many questions surround this event: how many Magi were there? how did they know? what was the star? I will not try to answer all the questions as much as focus on how the story might relate to us and how we, like the Wise Men, are on a journey to worship Christ.

The Wise Men or Magi were most likely from Persia and were experts in studying the stars. They would have known about Daniel and his writings due to his prominence during King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. Daniel saved all the wisemen of Babylon when God revealed and interpreted a dream King Nebuchadnezzar had. It was such a stunning event that Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel and said, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings.” Then the King made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief of all those wisemen during Judah’s captivity there (Daniel 2:3-48 ESV).

The Magi, at the time of Jesus’ birth, traveled over 800 miles to Jerusalem to inquire about the birth of a Jewish king. If they knew Daniel’s writings, they would have known the timeline for the birth of the Jewish Messiah. They may have also known of the prophecy of Balaam that spoke of a star that would come and a scepter that would rise out of Israel (Numbers 24:17).

Several things struck me as I pondered the story of the Wise Men. First, it was not just their knowledge that drove them to seek out the new king. It was their belief that caused them to go to whatever lengths they needed to find and worship the king that had been born. They had the star, Scripture, and their faith in God. They also listened to and obeyed God’s instructions.

I believe the Magi were God-fearing men who were walking their faith out day by day, waiting and watching for God to fulfill His word.

When they arrived in Jerusalem they asked King Herod where the king of the Jews was, that had been born. Herod had no idea, so he summoned the Jewish wisemen and scholars. They pointed to the prophet Micah who said a ruler would come out of Judah and be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). So the Magi left Jerusalem and went to Bethlehem.

When they arrived they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy…and they fell down and worshiped him, offering gifts appropriate for a king. Then in a dream God warned them to go another way home. They listened and obeyed (Matthew 2:8-12, ESV).

As believers, all of us are on a journey seeking to understand who God is and to worship Him rightly. We have at our disposal the same things the Wise Men did. We have creation which declares God’s glorious, invisible attributes. We do well to pause and spend time in the quiet of nature and listen. He is Creator, and longs for us to know Him.

We also have Scripture, which from beginning to end points to the glorious truth that God created us, loves us, and was willing to send his Son to die for us. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:9, MSG: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—What God has arranged for those who love him. 

Christ was born a tender, vulnerable infant—human, just as we are. He had to learn the Scriptures even though He was the living Word. He got tired, thirsty, endured temptations, and asked God if there was any other way than crucifixion. God said “NO”, and Christ obeyed. He was brutally crucified for us, on a cross at the crossroads of civilization. John tells us that the Son of Man came down from heaven, “And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life” (John 3:14, NLT).

When He prayed for His disciples and us, Jesus said: “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth” (John 17:3, NLT). As believers we are on a journey of faith, seeking to know Him more and more—not just head knowledge, but experiential knowledge.

I had an onerous decision to make in December, and as I sought the Lord, he made it clear that I was to take a difficult journey. Just before I left I came across a verse that said, Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! (1 Chronicles 16:10, ESV).

As I meditated on the meaning of the verse, it began to give me not only the focus I needed but a goal. My goal was not just to endure, but to glory in God’s holy name and to rejoice as I sought Him for the strength, the peace, and the love that I needed on the journey. I rejoiced that He was present with me. I took respite often in the warmth of the sun which reminded me of His comfort and His sovereignty.

God has many names that describe who He is, but God’s holy name was revealed to Moses at the burning bush—YHWH. It is composed of four Hebrew letters and is so holy that the Jews eventually quit saying it altogether, and those who were copying Scripture would change their clothes and get a new pen before writing it. Translated it means “I AM Who I AM”.  In the context of the book of Exodus it points to Him as savior and deliverer.

The name Jesus means YHWH saves.

We are to glory in His holy name and when we seek Him, we can rejoice because He longs to be found. If we seek Him with our whole heart we will find Him, (Deuteronomy 4:29; Jeremiah 29:13).

I don’t know what journey you are on or have ahead of you, but God longs for you to know Him and experience Him and find that He is everything you need. And if your journey includes suffering, He’s been there too. Focus on Him. Glory in His holy name and rejoice that as you seek Him you will find Him. To be perfectly clear, this is not about getting it right. It is about waiting on the Lord and trusting that He is with you. Lamentations 3:26, ESV says: “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” I’m convinced that is what the Wise Men did. And when the time came for the King of kings to be born, they did whatever it took to find Him and worship Him.

Lord, I pray for all those who are on a long journey and feel alone, or like the journey may never end, and need strength or comfort or wisdom. Cause their hearts to turn to You. Reveal Yourself to them. Show them where to turn in Scripture or bring Your word across their path that they might rejoice in who You are. Holy, holy, holy, are You LORD, who was, and is, and is to come. You dearly love Your children. Help Your sheep to know You and worship You. For the sake of Your Holy Name, I pray. Amen.

Kim Prothro

Kim fell in love with Jesus and studying God's word in the eighth grade. That eventually led to a dream of attending seminary which she did after her children were grown. She graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2013 with a Masters in Theology and was part of the original group of women who founded Womenary in 2008. She has been a past professor for Womenary and is currently the Director of Soul Care at Living Well Holistic Counseling and Wellness Center. Kim can be contacted at
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