“And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
What I would like to draw your attention to is a phrase in the middle of verse 12 (out of the Amplified Bible). This is the quote, “You will find after searching.” When I read that, I thought to myself that after an angelic visit, the glory of the Lord, lights flashing and shining all around them, the wonderful announcement of good news, and great joy why would they have to search? Doesn’t that seem difficult to you? After this enormous encounter with all these supernatural things happening, the impact of which left them trembling, why would they be reduced to searching? Why the effort to try to find the baby? Why didn’t God just pass them a computer so they could Google it? I believe that we see here a mystery of God’s character and nature. He does what He is able to do and in doing that gets our attention. Then He reduces us to searching. This reminds me of the proverbs in which we are told that God’s word is full of treasure, but you need to have the tendency to search for it. God provides the treasure, but you need to have the tenacity to find it. You could call that a treasure hunt.
The curiosity to find the treasure and God encourages you in the search. A good example is Moses in the old testament who upon seeing the burning bush had to “turn out of his way” to investigate further. Upon his curiosity and investigation God takes it up a notch further and speaks out of the burning bush. I wonder if in this busy season full of all kinds of activities that we find ourselves so busy that we haven’t taken time to search for the treasure that is God’s son Jesus Christ. That scene of searching is presented again in Luke 2:16. It says, “So they went with haste and [by searching] found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger.” The Berean believers in the book of Acts were commended for searching the scriptures to see if what was being told to them was true. It takes time to search. It is not an easy process. Sometimes it may even feel exasperating. You are busy, distracted, you don’t have time for it. The treasure is not valued. When I was a child, I remember the sheer joy of an Easter egg hunt. I loved those little chocolates and to find one was a complete joy because I knew upon finding it, I would certainly be eating it and I loved chocolate. Yum, Yum. The psalms also say that God’s word is better than silver or gold. The value of the treasure is worth the search. Any frustration you may feel upon finding the treasure dissipates as dew before the intensity of the sun. Let me encourage you during this Christmas season, to look again at the joy of searching and finding the reality of Christ Jesus and His grace manifested to you.