The road had been long and treacherous. Traveling was never easy. Around every turn, there seemed to be another obstacle and another opportunity to end the journey prematurely. In the distance, the outskirts of the city were slowly coming into view. Hopefully, when they reached the city’s center, the efforts of the trip would pale in comparison to the joy of reaching their destination. This destination was one of true remarkability. This was an occurrence so unique that the stars in the night sky had changed their normal course to deliver the news – a king was born. Not just any king, but one whose story had been on the lips of prophets for generations.
As they neared the city their hearts fluttered. How could they know what to expect in this foreign land? Would the people turn them away as outcasts? How would they know where to find the king? Would their clothing be acceptable in these royal courts? Better yet, they were foreign dignitaries, would they be given permission to approach the king and offer him gifts? Would their gifts be acceptable?
As they entered the city they were shocked. There was no excitement in the air. There was no celebration. None. Things were continuing as they normally would. There was no indication that any royalty had been born, much less a king for which the night sky had moved. “Let’s ask someone,” one of the wiser ones said. They found a man that looked as if he might know. “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” He didn’t know. No one knew.
Perhaps they had missed it. It’s possible they had miscalculated their celestial measurements. Even the local king, Herod, was unaware of the royal birth. Life was continuing on as if nothing had happened. They had left their normal lives expecting to find the exceptional, but only found more normal— normal people living normal lives and doing normal things. Where was the new king? How uncomfortable it must have been for those foreigners to step into a foreign city with little knowledge of current events and culture? When they ask to see the “new king”, the entire scenario becomes even more awkward by the reply they received – “Huh?”
Let’s take it a step further. How different would this Biblical account appear if the wise men had approached a townsperson, asked the new king’s location, and received a direction? Wouldn’t the story flow much more smoothly if the person excitedly said, “I’ll take you to him!” But no one did. In fact, instead of being pointed to the new king, they were directed to the old one, the despised King Herod.
When reading this account I immediately jump to the conclusion that I am one of the wise men in the story. I remember the time in which I pursued the King. I may not have crossed deserts or traveled a road beset with thieves, but I did cross the divide of uncertainty to faith. It’s hard to remove ourselves from the thought that we are kingseekers. After all, who doesn’t want to be the wise one in the story? There is a certain nobility found in going to great lengths to meet the king.
However, as a follower of Christ, I must understand that my role in the narrative has changed. No longer am I looking for a king, I’ve found Him! No longer am I on a strenuous journey of exploration, I’ve reached the home of the Savior and have laid my life at His feet. I now play a different part, a role in which I am an ambassador. It is now my responsibility to guide the king-seekers in the direction of the King.
In order to play this new part there are changes that must be made. While the mentality of a seeker is guarded and lends itself to protection of possessions, the mentality of an ambassador is one of service. A seeker asks, “Can you help me?” An ambassador asks, “How can I help you?” A seeker is unsure of the exact location. An ambassador has knowledge of the location and can give direction with the least hindrances.
It might be worth considering what systems and strategies need to change in order to be better ambassadors in your own life. These steps should usher those king-seekers away from the normalcy of their lives and into something extraordinary. Our atmosphere – our actions, integrity, and resolve for excellence – should reflect one who has been in the presence of the King.
When we are approached by king-seekers, what steps have we put in place so that they find Him? It’s not our responsibility to put a star in the sky, but it is our responsibly to know what it indicates – the saving grace of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20 NLT says, “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’”
Our church strategy needs to reflect this thought as well. As king-seekers approach our building I’m sure they are faced with some of the same questions that the Magi faced. How can we know what to expect? Will the regulars turn us away as outcasts? Will the directions to the King make sense to us? Will the steps provided to us be marked clearly? Are these clothes acceptable? Will we be allowed to give our gifts?
I wonder what the status quo is for churches across our nation. When king-seekers arrive, are they being greeted with the extraordinary presence of the King, or the ordinary presence of man? Are they being pointed to a King worthy of a new night sky, or the dominion of human tradition? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every person and every church had a clear process for king-seekers?
What must we change that these king-seekers would see our excitement for the King? What additions and subtractions are essential that king-seekers are directed to the true King and not a false one? Wise men still seek Him, but the wisest men and women act as ambassadors to guide others into His presence.
Amos McFalls is the Director of Operations at Destiny Ministries and serves as a Campus Pastor at Christ Church in Ruston, LA. Amos has been married to Lindsey for 12 years and they have two children Caroline (7) and Franklin (5). He is passionate about helping others find God’s redemptive calling for their lives.