Matthew 2:1-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
Wise Men from the East
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.
Each Christmas Season is so special, because Jesus is.
--No other born as He; announced, sung to by angels!
--Humble shepherds left flocks, to seek Him.
--A special star shone to bring wise men to seek Him.
--He is special to all who know Him, as Savior-Lord.
--Wise ones of all ages seek, and find, this Jesus.
--"We have seen His star .. and come to worship Him."
In our busy lives, and blessed, may we all seek Him.
--It is time we stop worrying what the world is coming to, and worship the God Who came to the world!
--Who came to "seek and to save the lost."
Prophets cried,"seek the Lord while He maybe found."
--"You shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).
--Thus these wise men from the East came to do that.
--"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?"
--Jesus was "born king." No other ever "born king."
--No other as He qualifies as the world's Messiah.
They came seeking, "We have seen His star..."
--There was a star, "A Star..out of Jacob" (Num 24).
--A special star of hope, the wise ones followed.
--And "have come to worship Him." The Lord Jesus.
The long wait ended. Prophecies filled. Jesus came.
--He has all the credentials, qualifications, as God.
--God in human flesh, to "dwell among us" commoners.
--To come to us in forgiveness. Alone to live in us!
--The only religion of all that brings God in us.
--"Christ in you the hope of glory," to receive Him.
--To do what we cannot. And no other ever could do!
Jesus sets the whole world rejoicing in great joy.
--In our checkered lives, of turmoils and trials, Jesus comes to bring His gift of forgiveness and life.
Let's join the wise ones, and truly seek Him too.
--To give our love to the God Who gave His love to us.
--So we may show this love to one another, in peace.
Thousands of babies are born each year to parents as a gift of God's amazing creation, for God to bless.
--But Jesus was no ordinary baby, the wise did seek.
--Jesus always existed with the Father and Spirit.
--He even "Created all things." Came for a purpose.
--He was born, so we may be "born again" and saved.
--Born in Bethlehem as prophets foretold.
--Not in a home, or hospital; but in a manger stall.
--Among the animals, and poor, common-folk of life.
As "God with us!" The wise men came, "Where is He?"
--Jesus is special because of where He came from.
--"He came from heaven," to get heaven into us!
--He is special, for what He came for. "Seek.. save."
--Special, for the sinless life He lived. And did.
--Going to a cross for us. Rising from the dead!
--He promises, "Because I live, you shall live also."
--No wonder wise men - of all ages - seek this Savior.
--May I share a few things these wise men teach us?
I. THEY BESOUGHT JESUS. "Where is He?..?"
--These men from the East knew their Bible books.
--Perhaps from when the Jews were captive, there.
--They were learned men, of Arts, Science, Astronomy.
--Educated in wisdom and the Word. Seekers of God.
--Knowing prophecies, this star has meaning.
--That's why they came .. seeking .. the Lord.
Matthew 2 fills four prophecies: A Savior "to be born in Bethlehem" (Micah 5:2). "Called out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1). "Weeping in Rama" by wicked Herod, we read in Jeremiah 31:15. And a descendant of David to be "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Isaiah 11:1f).
--Jesus alone fills all these - and dozens more.
When they came to Jerusalem, "Where is He born King, of the Jews, we have seen His star, come to worship."
--Another king? When wicked Herod heard this, he was "troubled." Herod had 10 wives, many children!
--These he would not hesitate to kill to keep his powerful throne, that caused so many to tremble.
My friend, it wasn't just three wise men who came!
--Three wouldn't frighten wicked Herod! It was many!
--It was a large delegation, of worshipers.
--More like hundreds in this pilgrimage from the East.
--Their numbers - and purpose - were impressive.
--"Where is He .. we have seen His star .. and have come to worship Him." So Herod "was troubled."
--He wanted no contenders - not even the Baby Jesus.
--And Herod had all area boy babies killed, later!
--But wise ones seek Jesus, to set us all an example.
II. THEY BEHELD JESUS. "They saw the young child."
--Scribes told Herod Bethlehem was the place, as the wise men "followed the star .. where the young Child was" (v 9). "They rejoiced exceedingly."
--In seeking, God had led them all the way. He does.
--Today, not by a star - but by the Holy Spirit.
Nor do we worship a star or stars - as some do.
--Stars, like this Bible or road sign, point to God.
--They are not God. Only God is to be worshiped.
So they were led to the right town, place, Person.
--The holy family were not in a stable - "a house."
--In the "house they saw the young Child with Mary."
--And beheld the "King of glory! The Lord of life."
--These months since Jesus' birth gave time for such a long trip of many miles and months.
--Such love as these wise ones then, is rare today.
Having seen Jesus, they did what wise ones now do.
III. THEY BELIEVED IN HIM. "They worshiped Him."
--In fact, "they fell down and worshiped Him."
--You don't do that, unless you believe in the Lord.
--They besought. They beheld. Now they believe!
--They honored Mary and Joseph, as we all should do.
--But they "worshiped Him" - not them. Jesus is God!
Do we really worship Him? Is Jesus reigning in us? Why not worship Jesus as God? All the angels do.
--All the saints do. All "born again" people do.
--You and I should too. Worship Him, faithfully.
Why not also believe in Him? Part of the Trinity.
--Jesus always was. With the Father and Holy Spirit.
--Before there ever was any creation, He created us!
--He came to show us what God is like; and save us.
We need to believe that, and live for the Lord Jesus.
--They were seeking One "born King," but far more is Jesus than a king! He is the Risen, Eternal One!
Have you believed in Him? Received Him, as Savior?
--Be wise, like these wise ones. Let's follow Jesus.
--Jesus didn't give us a long list of do's or don'ts.
--He simply said to His disciples, "Follow Me."
--This Jesus asks of us, "Believe Me. Follow Me."
--These wise ones of old did that. Why not others?
IV. NEXT, THEY BESTOWED GIFTS, GIVEN TO JESUS.
--Because they believed, they came. Worshiped Him.
--And brought gifts of "gold, frankincense and myrrh" to present to Him - that evidenced love for God!
--Gifts needed by this family to flee into Egypt, for safety and protection from Herod. How God provides!
What can we give the Lord? Is He on our gift list?
--We can give Him worship. Prayers. Praise. Love.
--Our time. Talents. Tithes, offerings, or service.
--All these are fine. The best gift is .. our self.
--"They first gave themselves to the Lord" then their gifts (II Cor. 8:5). Have you done that?
--We can give all kinds of gifts, but until we give our life, loyalty and love to the Lord, we've missed heaven with Him. Give Him yourself! Be wise.
What benefit for Jesus to be born, if not born in us?
--My dear friend, no better time to bestow your gift.
V. LASTLY, THESE WISE MEN BEGAN LIFE ANOTHER WAY.
--They "departed for their own country another way."
--That's what one does, when we meet Jesus!
--We begin to walk and talk "another way!" - God's!
--We are "new persons." "Old things.. passed away."
--"All things have become new." Going God's way.
An angel warned them, trust not Herod, go home "another way," and that is what they did.
--Maybe you, as I, need "another way" - a better way.
--Maybe you've tried other ways. Jesus "is the way."
--In fact, "the truth, and the life." The best way!
--Life's greatest journey is to find the Savior!
--Wise ones will.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD.