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The Wise Still Seek Him

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Sermon shared by Matthew Stoll

December 2004
Summary: Using the story of the wise men to teach us how God seeks us and brings us to seek the Christ.
Denomination: Methodist
Audience: General adults
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the letter of Godís law, than about seeking Christ and a relationship with him. You get the idea of how that would have gone over like a lead balloon. Rather than be overjoyed at the news, the Messiah had come, they are worried, probably skeptical, and they do nothing about it. Unlike the wise men who have traveled hundreds of miles to worship the Christ, the religious leaders couldnít even travel six miles to seek out and worship the Christ. King Herod even sends the Wise Men off to find the Christ child in his place so they can report back to him. It never mentions one person at least going to check out if their information might be true. Why donít they check it out, because pagan Gentile astronomers certainly couldnít know anything about their Messiah? Why would God tell them about the Christ and not the religious authorities? Maybe because they were more concerned about laws and rituals than they were about a relationship with God, and concerned with where his heart was.

We can have knowledge of the Bible, we can even have religious convictions, we can even live out Godís commands to the letter and still miss the point. God is seeking a relationship with us through his Son Jesus the Christ, and he wants us to seek him. What we find out is that when we seek him, we will find him. Jesus once said, ďSeek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened.Ē The author of Hebrews wrote

ďAnd without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6).Ē

And when we find him, meaning have a relationship with God through Christ, everything else falls into place. The magi were rewarded for their journey of faith to meet Christ.

When we come to church, when we live good lives is it because our primary focus is on seeking Christ, to search for him to try draw nearer to him? Or are we like the religious leaders in Jesus day who think that doing our religious duty is enough, following Godís commandments, being at church, maybe even knowing the Bible really well?

3) We need to worship Christ Ė Wise men offered valuable gifts, what do we offer God?

Worship is not an option with Christ. We need to worship him. Once the wise men reached Jesus it says the first thing they did was worship, just like the shepherds who had already visited Jesus and worshipped by singing praises to God. It says of the Magi:

NIV Matthew 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh

They bowed down and worshipped. One way to worship was to bow low before another. It signaled ones submission to the other as having authority over them. That is why today we say we must receive Jesus as Lord, because he is in control and we submit ourselves to him. We donít see that too much in services today, Iím not sure why, we bow our heads in prayer, which is a similar sign of our submission to God, but our posture doesnít show our humbleness before our King of kings and Lord of lords.

In any case they worshipped in another way. They presented an offering, three gifts were presented to Jesus as a sign of worship. Remember to worship also means to offering something.
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