Friday, December 16, 2005

What is Wrong with "Even Wise Men Seek Jesus"?

This particular Christmas decoration outside the Tangs department store along Orchard Road causes double-takes amongst Christmas shoppers because of the very un-PC inclusion of the word "Jesus". Traditional commercial Christmas catch-phrases include the more acceptable "Christmas is all about ME", "Reward yourself this Christmas" and "Christmas is all about giving".

But the Tang family has long been known for its "Christian-ness". For a long time, they refused to open their store on a Sunday despite it being one of the more lucrative days of the week for the retail business, in obedience to their interpretation of the Sabbath.

So this year's decorative evangelistic message came as no surprise.

Yet, however applaudable their good intentions, there is something somewhat wrong with the phrase "Even Wise Men Seek Jesus". This supposes that one typically understands that only foolish men seek Jesus. Aaah, says the Tangs family, did you know that even wise men do so? Magi-ishly but still. They were wise men.

But that's not what the Bible says at all.

Who are the foolish?
The fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7). They delight in scoffing at wisdom and hate knowledge (Proverbs 1:22). They have no sense (Proverbs 8:5). They are complacent in their ignorance (Proverbs 1:32) and wallow in their sinful ways (Psalms 107:17). And so for continuing in their foolishness, they will ultimately die (Proverbs 10:21) and be destroyed (Proverbs 1:32).

Who are the wise?
Wisdom is found in the knowledge of the living God. It is the wise that acknowledge God's rule over them. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD (Proverbs 1:7). For this world is the LORD's and everything that lives and exists in it. He alone is worthy to rule it and he alone knows how he designed everything to live and relate. Where else have we to go for knowledge and value and meaning in life? Where else have we to turn for direction? Only in God through his Son, Jesus Christ. It is the wise who understand this and so look for knowledge and value and meaning and direction where it can be found and follow what is true. And so, they will ultimately live and be saved from the destruction of fools.

Therefore, only wise men seek Jesus.



At December 16, 2005 4:25 pm , Anonymous clay said...

interesting opinion :)
dunno if u've a critical spirit :)
i thought what the Tangs means based from the Bible account of wise men/magi from East that came to Bethlehem to seek Jesus the prophesied King..:)
So even the wise men, seek Jesus...who do we think we are? If we think we're wise...then we should seek Jesus too like those wise men from the east.

i think i'm a fool, and therefore i won't seek Jesus, coz only wise men that seek Jesus, the fool just seek other things :)
or simply can't understand what the wise men seeking after all. They're wise and i'm fool..:)

At December 16, 2005 4:52 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

tangs says
foolish + wise seek jesus

the shadow/the bible says
seek jesus = wise
dont seek jesus = foolish

tere4 tangs wrong 2 say
foolish + wise seek jesus
only wise seek jesus

At December 16, 2005 4:55 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorri i mean
only wise seek jesus coz seek jesus = wise

At December 16, 2005 8:09 pm , Blogger kelvin said...

The way I see it, there is nothing wrong with saying Even wise men...

It just goes to show that the wise men acknowledge a higher being that is more superior in, this case, knowledge.

So, if wise men seek Jesus, what about us, mere mortals?

At December 17, 2005 11:52 am , Anonymous ~wb said...

yes i think we all understand that tangs interpretation. i also think the shadow is actually saying that this is the wrong way to look at it since god/bible doesnt look at it like that. god doesn't say that mere mortals like us should follow the leadership of the wise. he changes the whole meaning of "wise" and says it is ONLY those who seek jesus who are wise. dont look at the wise of this world for direction. if you are a "mere mortal" who has sought jesus and accepted him as your lord and saviour, then you are a wise man, no matter how uneducated low iq (unwise in the worlds eyes) you are. therefore ONLY wise men seek jesus becos the definition of wise is whether or not you seek jesus.

At December 17, 2005 6:16 pm , Blogger The Hedonese said...

Interesting twist to it..

Isn't grace so amazing that both fools and wise men could follow the Saviour by coming with the empty hands of faith? :)

I dun think I'm any wiser than those who choose not to seek Jesus... I seek bcos God first sought me... No ground for boasting here, on Christ the solid rock we stand. Merry Christmas!

At December 18, 2005 6:02 pm , Blogger kelvin said...

wb: "God doesn't say that mere mortals like us should follow the leadership of the wise"?
That is a very bold statement to make.

"dont look at the wise of this world for direction."

Hence Tangs's and my point.

Just to stir up the pot,

Does being wise make you seek God, or seeking GOd makes you wise? :)

Merry Axemas to all!

At December 18, 2005 8:52 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were all fools.
Romans 3:11
There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

It is God out of His mercy and love sought us, enlightened our heart and brought us out of darkness because we are the His chosen people.

Not because that we were wise, so we sought God. But God sought us, granted us His Wisdom and made us wise.

My two cents.

At December 18, 2005 11:00 pm , Anonymous clay said...


i like what you said kelv,
Proverbs says :"fear of God is the beginning of wisdom" :)
or Job says :"and knowing the Holy One is understanding"

So..i think the answer is quite obvious ;)

At December 19, 2005 10:39 am , Anonymous shadow said...

anonymous @ 8.52pm is spot on! Thanks man.

I thought this song really articulates what grace is:

I'm Forever Grateful
Mark Altrogge

You did not wait for me
To draw near to You
But You clothed Yourself
With frail humanity

You did not wait for me
To cry out to You
But You let me hear
Your voice calling me

And I'm forever grateful to You
I'm forever grateful
For the cross
I'm forever grateful to You
That You came
To seek and save the lost

© 1985 People Of Destiny International (Admin. by Sovereign Grace Ministries)

and that is really the joy of Christmas. That God did not wait for us to seek him. For we are so sinful that none of us would have, and we would all have gone to our eternal destruction...but for God's undeserved favour shown in sending his Son to die for us on the cross and his calling us to trust in him.

At December 21, 2005 11:50 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with the previous anonymous but i think that's not shadow's original point. i think it turns on the definition of "wise".
kelvin's and the hedonese's "wise" is what people in the world think are wise - the PhDs, the teachers, the lecturers...
shadow's "wise" is what he takes from the bible, basically people who believe in god are wise. ~wb tries to explain this is what shadow means. the hedonese, then actually it is not boasting to say that you are wise because it is god that makes you wise by allowing you to believe in him.
i don't understand clay at all.


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