|Posted by Brian Linebarger on December 19, 2011 at 9:30 AM|
And all through the mall, people were seeking the best gift of all. The parking was all gone, so a long way they walked, looking for a sweater, a movie or clock. While the stress mounted, and medication they took, all He wanted was them, He didnt care how they looked...........
1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
We all know the story of the wise men or the Kings who came to worship and present gifts to Jesus. They are as much a part of Christmas traditions as the Christmas tree, gifts and Reindeer.
Little is historically known about these men, in fact there are debates that go on until this day as to the number of wise men, where they came from, their names and other things about the traditions that have risen around them. We will not be focusing today on who they were or how many of them there were, rather we are going to focus on what they DID…………..
This much is clear. They saw something out of the ordinary in the sky. Matthews Gospel describes it as a star. They knew that this star was of great importance, and they set out to follow it. Being learned men, they would have been exposed to the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, also, it is not to much of an assumption to think that God moved on them to follow this star to Jesus, as they play an important role in keeping Jesus safe from the wrath of Herod.
Some artwork portrays them as alone, but this is very unlikely. It is much more likely that an entire caravan was assembled to travel to Jesus. This is especially true if they were in fact Kings. In any case, they set off on a long journey, guided only by a star. Of interest here is that the start, what has come to be known as the Star Of Bethlehem, appeared to them before they left, and led them to Herod. They asked him where they could find Jesus (called the King Of The Jews), he didn’t know, so he called for the scribes and the Pharisees to interpret the scripture about where the Messiah would be born. The answer of course, was Bethlehem. Herod sends them away and calls the wise men back to him for a private audience. He grills them about the time the star appeared, and send them off charging them to find Jesus and come back and tell him. Herod of course, has ulterior motives. He intends to kill Jesus.
The “meat” of our sermon today, and what the wise men can teach us, and what we can apply to our lives to live in the fullness of Christ can be summed up in 3 points:
1) Seeking and worshipping the Son of God was their highest priority. The wise men were seekers. They had a passion to follow this new star and discoverfor themselves where this “new” king might be. For them it was a long, tough,taxing journey. It took many months and more resources than we can even imagineto find their way, and yet, they persevered and found Him. So must we be. The lord shows us our own “star”, something that will lead us to Him. We must be like the wise men and follow it no matter the cost. Seeking Him out must be our highest priority.
2) When they found him, they humbled themselves and gave Him the best. The gifts they brought were not common items, rather they were rare and precious that would have commanded a high price. In short, they were the best. The gifts given to Jesus and his family were so precious in fact, that it was most likely with these items that they financed their travels into Egypt when fleeing Herod. The point is that in addition to our worship (which we OWE Him), he wants a gift from us, and that gift is our humility and lives. In other words, the very best that we have to give.
3) They followed the leading of the Lord. Verse 12 tells us that they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod. God showed them Herods intent, so they returned to their own country a different way. Of course they knew that disobeying an order from the king would make him mad, and even have subjected them to retaliation had they not returned to their own countries, and of course, had Herod sent soldiers after them while they were returning to their own countries, they would have faced it, and yet they followed the Lords instructions regardless of the cost, or what could have happened to them. We must be the same. When the Lord tells us to do something, we must do it without worrying about what might happen. We must follow without question, trusting that God will take care of us.
As we move into the final week before Christmas, as the parties and celebrations continue, as we plan our celebrations and begin to think about the new year and maybe even our resolutions, we should keep the wise men in mind. We should try and follow their example, and not let anything get in our way.
WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM!!!
Copyright 2011-,Brian Linebarger, Pacific Life Ministries, Inc. All Right Reserved. This work may be distributed free of charge for non-commercial use by Churches or any other religious organizations or by individuals who need to build their Faith or the Faith of another (just don’t sell it )