Joyed with Great Joy

Key Bible Passage:

When they [the wise men] saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. (Matthew 2:10-12)


If you’ve ever taken an international flight, you know the joy upon arrival. If you’ve taken an international flight at the end of a long deployment, you know an even greater joy. And if you’ve taken an international flight after deployment and are now being reunited with loved ones, the joy is greater still.

The rejoicing in the verse above may precisely be translated “they [the wise men] joyed with great joy, very much” (Benson Commentary).

Joy is easy to sense and hard to define. This definition from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is a little formal but puts meaning to the angels’ good news of great joy: “Joy is a delight of the mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of a good.”

The wise men, often called Magi, were at the end of a very long, God-directed journey and the end point was uncertain. Tremendous joy is in being guided by God (Galatians 5). The birth of Jesus Christ is the most pivotal event in all human history, thus a second layer of joy (Isaiah 9:6-7). The star overhead indicated they had found the savior! Finding Christ is the greatest of joys, for whoever has the Son has life (1 John 5:12).

How should we respond to the good news of God’s arrival? Like the wise men did! They fell down, they worshipped, they offered gifts, and they listened for God’s further marching orders.

Let’s joy with great joy, very much!


  • If you’re artistic (or not), draw or sculpt the scene in Matthew 2. Try to erase from your mind Christmas nativity scenes and simply create from the text.