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The wisdom of the Magi

The wisdom of the Magi

‘…Some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked. ‘We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.’  When Herod heard this he was perturbed, and so was the whole of Jerusalem.  He called together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  ‘At Bethlehem in Judea,’ they told him.

In this episode, there is a mismatch between knowledge and wisdom.  The Magi lack the knowledge necessary to complete the final leg of their journey and so – with the humility of the truly wise – they ask their question.  The chief priests and the scribes know well the answer to their question, but they don’t immediately drop everything and join the Magi on their quest.  Why not?

The chief priests and scribes have the knowledge but not the wisdom.  They know the theory but have long since forgotten that it is meant to be put into practice.

What about us?  What knowledge to we hold that is gathering dust on a shelf in our brains?  What is it that we know in theory, yet fail to put into practice?



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