Matthew 2: 1-12

Written by kathleen on Dec 20, 2015 in - No Comments

2015 Christmas

The fourth wise man   

Wise men who had a life changing experience

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,

2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

 5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.'”

 7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh

 12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

This journey of these men is not unlike our own as they experience 6 things coming to Jesus!

These guys are called. Wise Men, Kings, Magi or Astrologers but   who were they really? And where exactly did they come from?  Were there actually 3 of them and if so, what were their names?

The thing is these questions are not really significant to our understanding of who Jesus Christ is.

What’s more important about the Wise Men is their response to Jesus. As we take time to observe the Magi we can discover six things about how we should respond to God in our own life.

1.They Came; 2.They Saw; 3.They Worshipped; 4.They Opened Their Treasures; 5.They Presented Their Gifts; 6.They Returned.

 1.THEY CAME!

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

Notice that the Wise Mean simply “came” It’s a small word yet it’s mentioned a number of times

They came to the Right Place coming from region of Persia or Babylon as they came from the east & traveled west

We don’t know how many there actually were; although for a trip of this distance they would most likely be traveling in a caravan; and with the account of the three gifts that were offered to Jesus it is been assumed there were at least three magi or kings.

They came at the Right Time. Most Bible experts agree they arrived between 1 & 2 years after His birth. In chapter 2 v16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

By this time Jesus is not an infant but a young child and it is no longer a manger scene with a feeding trough in a stable;

It doesn’t really matter how many, or where they came from, or how much later they came…

What is important was their desire to come to Jesus. They were willing to leave their home, family, occupations, to take the time and make the effort to come to see Jesus

 2 THEY SAW!

Once they arrived their journey was not complete for in verse 2 We saw his star verse 9 the star they had seen verse 10 when we saw that the star verse 11They saw the child

They saw Jesus for who He was even though he was just a child

They saw the Star; and then they saw the Child

Their eyes were focused on the stars…so that’s what God used to get their attention. They were men of science, learning, & religion.

They depended on astronomy to understand movements in time & history. They weren’t selling horoscopes to the locals; they were serious men seeking truth the only way they knew how.

Since the Magi were astronomers, studying the wonders of the heavens, God started with what was familiar to them and led these men by an astronomical phenomenon.

You could say He spoke to them in a way they would understand.

God always meets us where we are & uses means we understand to draw us to Him.

There are those who demand intellectual evidence through the pursuit of knowledge.  With a little effort they can find the path to Jesus becaused He is filled with logic, & reason. (Yes, it requires faith…but God is not afraid of reason)

Everything in nature is imprinted with God’s design and as many who will follow the amazing complexity of our world will be led to the creator Himself. One of the greatest surprises in the search for Jesus is the revelation that the One we have been looking for has been helping us find Him.

James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.

We are never alone in our search; He is with us every step of the way. But like the wise men, the search is not always an easy one!

The Magi’s journey was a difficult sometimes slow dangerous one

Today maybe you’re facing obstacles in your search for Jesus!

Religious obstacles; intellectual obstacles; relational obstacles; emotional obstacles; spiritual obstacles; other Christians as obstacles

If that’s the case do what the Magi did—they searched the Scriptures which taught them the truth about the Messiah, & brought them to the very spot in Bethlehem to meet Jesus.

We too must turn to the Bible in order to come to Christ.

We can never find Christ on our own…we will just find jealous tyrannical kings with evil agendas; or a group of priests & teachers of the law who knew where Christ would be born but showed no interest in finding Him!

Some like Herod and the Priests, read the Scriptures & knew all about Christ, but did not want to know Him on a personal level

They finally saw the Child and as they looked around, they saw more than a star, or the house, or a teenage mother, or a small child, born to a poor family

Instead they saw Jesus for who he really was. They had overcome all the obstacles to keep them from finding Jesus and instead of turning away in disappointment; they rejoiced and worshipped!

(That is the response of everyone that truly has found Jesus!)

[3] THEY WORSHIPPED!

v.11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.

They came – they saw – then  they worshipped

[4] THEY OPENED THEIR TREASURES!

First They Opened their hearts-Then They Opened their hands

Did you catch that word?  Treasures –

In worshipping the new king they gave Him their best They didn’t just offer gifts they opened their treasures.

The use of the word treasure is significant. In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust consume and where thieves  break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Then he goes on to say, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Our treasure is that which means most to us. When the Wise Men opened their treasure it was their way of saying, “Jesus, you are the most important thing in the world to me.”

Have you committed your heart your Treasure to Jesus?

They Came. They Saw. They Worshipped. They opened their Treasures!

[5] THEY PRESENTED THEIR GIFTS!

The Magi saw Jesus as the King of all creation and a king who would reign not by force but by love.

They did not come to see what they could get! They came seeking to give

What they saw in Jesus…is demonstrated by the gifts they offered to him

 They gave gold representing Royalty, riches, purity and sovereignty.

They gave Incense (Frankincense) a gift fit for a priest knowing Jesus will open the way by being a bridge  for humanity to enter into the presence of God.

They gave Myrrh a costly ointment associated with times of bitterness, suffering, hardship, even death; it was a substance used to embalm the bodies of the dead

For he would be the suffering Savior

An odd gift to give to a baby or a king

[6] THEY RETURNED!

They returned to their country on another rout

More than the route was different.

Everything was different. Their lives, their future, their hopes, their joy, their purpose for living.

They departed for their own country another way

We cannot stay in church all the time. We cannot remain in our prayer closet 24-7 or read the Bible all day at work

We too must return to our country.

The question is, will it be by another route?

Has you’re encounter with Jesus changed your life in any way?

If we truly come and see and worship as the Wise men did, we will return to our world with a new joy and excitement about life

You too will have a story to tell!

If You Want Christmas All Year

Be the 4th Wise Man.