Summary: What Birthday gift will you give Jesus? You would be wise to bring GOLD!
All I Want for Christmas is...Gold
When do you start your Christmas Shopping?
• The Day After Christmas
• The 4th of July
• The Day School starts
• Black Friday
• ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6 "’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’"
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
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.
Someone pondered what the first Christmas might have been like if wise women had come from the east instead of wise men. They would have asked for directions, made it to Bethlehem on time, helped with the delivery, cleaned up the stable, made a decent meal, and brought some practical gifts.
Shopping for the First Christmas began many years before.
The people of Israel were overthrown by the Kingdom of Babylon. The King of Babylon told his soldiers to bring to Babylon the most handsome, the strongest, the smartest from the nobles of Israel. These were to be taught the ways of the Babylonians so that they might serve in the king’s palace a journey of over 500 miles. Little did Nebuchadnezzar, the King, know but God was orchestrating Christmas to be celebrated some 600 years in the future. (How’s that for early Christmas shopping!)
One of the young men taken from Jerusalem to Babylon was Daniel. God would use Daniel to dream and be an interpreter of the dreams of Kings, including Nebuchadnezzar. When Nebuchadnezzar had a vision he could not remember or understand, God gave Daniel the interpretation:
36 "This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.
37 You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory;
38 in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
39 "After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours.
Just 6 years later, Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian kingdom was overtaken by Darius the Mede and what was to be called the Medo-Persian Kingdom. This world kingdom lasted over 200 years before they were overthrown by the Greeks, led by Alexander the Great. The Grecian Empire would be swallowed up by the Romans less than 200 years later. God reveled all this to Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel, who spoke of another Kingdom and a far greater KING!
44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.
The Medio-Persian Kingdom included a group of priests, called “Magi”. Historians believe that you didn’t become king in Persia w/o a mastery of the scientific and religious disciplines of the Magi, approved and crowned by them. The prophet Daniel dealt with the Magi in Babylonia. His teaching was carried down through the successive generations of Magi until the time Jesus was born. This is why the Magi were looking for one who has been born king of the Jews.