Summary: Brief but powerful in the Christmas account, the Magi give us some essential take-aways. Here are two more to go with seeking the Lord in 4 Questions Inspired by the Magi.
Part 2: Share and Sense
Matthew 2:1-12 concentrating on 2:11-12
We discussed last week the Magi have a brief appearance in Matthew’s Gospel, yet they leave us with some essential take-aways. We looked at the first take-away last week; the fact we need to seek the Lord. Our life should be one big pursuit of the Lord. Seeking and anticipating his presence in our life. We should allow him to guide our pursuit.
Now, the wise men also remind us we should share with the Lord and be sensitive to his leading. We know the account of the wise men. One night as they were studying the stars, they noticed a new star. Many have tried to explain this star the Magi saw. Some believe it was an alignment of planets which occurs every several hundred years. Others think it was supernova, yet neither of these would have moved ahead of the Magi as they went on their way. Perhaps the best explanation of what they saw in the night sky is recorded in Luke’s Gospel. Luke says as the birth was being announced to the shepherds, “An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them…” (Luke 2:8). This would have been a brilliant light in the dark sky. It would have grabbed the attention of anyone studying the stars. It seems it stuck around to lead the wise men. Christ’s birth was supernatural, so why wouldn’t God do something supernatural to announce it.
Today, as we pick up the account, we find the wise men in Joseph and Mary’s home, worshiping the child the star led these kingmakers to the home, and they spent time there. It’s fun to think of what may have been going through Joseph’s mind in this moment. He may have thought things were starting to settle for his family after all the events surrounding the miraculous birth, and now there is a knock at the door. Magi from the East have come to visit.
Point 1: Share with the Lord
When the Magi found the Lord, they shared with him. Verse 11 says, “They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (NLT). The Magi shared with the Lord.
The first essential take-away was to seek the Lord. The second take-away we find is to share with the Lord. Kevin, age 5, and Ryan, age 3, were waiting on their mother to cook pancakes one morning. The boys began to argue about who was going to get the first pancake, and seeing an opportunity to teach a moral lesson, their mom said, “Jesus would let his brother have the first pancake.” Kevin quickly said to Ryan, “Hey Ryan, why don’t you be Jesus.”
The wise men brought gifts to Jesus. They wanted to share with him. We too should be willing to bow before the king and open the treasure chests of our lives and share with the Lord.
The Magi gave Christ gold. Gold, obviously, is something of great value. Instantly, tithes and offerings come to mind, but we can share in other ways. Our time, our talents, and our abilities are some ways we can share. We can share our words by being the Lord’s spokespeople. Our words may encourage one another, building one another up. Our words may help another person more fully understand God’s grace. Its not just money; much can be shared with the Lord.
The wise men shared frankincense and myrrh – incense – with the Lord. Our communication, our prayers, are the incense we offer to the Lord. Revelation 5:8 reminds us prayers are a sweet-smelling fragrance at the altar of the Lord. He wants to hear from us. He longs for us to talk with him. He wants to hear our thanksgivings, our struggles, our burdens. The Lord wants us to share our lives with him.
The wise men shared with Jesus. How well do we share with him?
POINT 2: Sense the Lord’s Leading
The Magi finished their visit and returned home. Verse 12 tells us the men returned home via a different route. They were warned in a dream not to return to Jerusalem and report to Herod as he had requested. Herod believed Jesus was a threat to his power and wanted to kill him. The wise men were sensitive to the Lord’s leading.
We should be paying enough attention to the Lord to sense his leading. We should be spending enough time in Scripture to sense the Lord’s leading.
Joseph may be the best example of a person being sensitive to the Lord’s leading. He had to sense the Lord’s leading a few times in Jesus’ early years. Joseph was going to privately divorce Mary when he found out she was pregnant, but the Lord led him to a different decision. Joseph was warned in a dream to take his family to Egypt, and he did. Joseph was told in a dream to return to Israel, and he did. It was the Lord’s leading which placed the family in Nazareth. Joseph sensed the Lord’s leading and responded.