Summary: What can we learn from them that we can begin to put into practice not only in our celebration of Christmas but in the new year?
Christmas through Their Eyes
“Christmas through Wise Men’s Eyes”
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-12
Introduction: It is the day after Christmas, a time when people traditionally head back to the stores to return those gifts that people gave them on Christmas. I was wondering what you can say to those that give you gifts that don’t quite rise to the level of expectations.
Here are a few suggested by Pastor Brian Bill:
• Hey! There’s a gift! (I hear this works with ugly babies too).
• Well, well, well…
• This is perfect for wearing around the basement.
• To think…I got this the year I vowed to give all my gifts to charity.
• I really don’t deserve this.
Thanks for coming to worship before hurrying to the stores, but it’s also a good time to consider what happened to the wise men since they came after Christmas as well.
What can we learn from them that we can begin to put into practice not only in our celebration of Christmas but also in the upcoming New Year? We will discover those answers as we see “Christmas through THE WISE MEN’S eyes.”
Christmas should be a time of…
1. Wonder. (vv. 1-2, 9-10)
“After Jesus was born…” – It is after Jesus was born that they came. Many times we see them at the manger but Scripture is clear that they came later. I will point out the several reasons why this is the case as we progress.
Some commentators said to put them on the other side of the room or in a separate room. Foncy puts hers on different shelves or tables.
“Wise men from the East” – Greek word is magos which means the name given by the Babylonians (Chaldeans), Medes, Persians, and others, to the wise men, teachers, astrologers, etc.
We read of them in the OT in the book of Daniel. Jewish legend says that Daniel taught these men to watch for signs in the heavens of the coming Messiah. They came from Persia or Babylon. They traveled over 900 miles in a span of 6-9 months (again reminding us that He was no longer in a manger).
Not only were they star-gazers but also king makers. They came expecting to anoint and worship a new king.
They were Gentiles coming to see a Jewish king!
Fulfilled prophecy too…
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60:3 (NIV)
“to Jerusalem” – The natural place you would expect to find the new king – the capital city.
“saying” – “Continually all over the place”
“Where is He?” – Imagine their amazement and frustration when no one knew what they were talking about! That would be like someone coming to Roanoke wanting to see the star and no one knowing what they were talking about.
The Roman historians, Suetonius and Tacitus, bear witness to an expectation, prevalent in the East, that out of Judea should arise a sovereign of the world. --Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary
“We have seen His star in the East…” – Not rising in the East but literally from the East. That will be clarified in verse 9.
“His star” – What was it? I am glad you asked. It means you still have a sense of wonder! Don’t lose that!
Some have suggested a comet or meteor. Others say it may have been an alignment of the planets or some of the planets like Saturn and Jupiter. Still others say a special created star for His birth.
The best one I read about by John MacArthur and a few others suggest it was the Shekinah glory of God blazing forth. Remember the shepherds in the field? Why wouldn’t people have seen that especially if they were specifically looking for it?
In the OT this glory of God guided the Israelites as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Here it continues to guide those looking for Jesus.
Apparently it had appeared long enough to get them on their way and they naturally chose Jerusalem as the place to begin their search. It did not guide them to Jerusalem because that is not where Jesus was.
Also fulfilled prophecy…
A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. Numbers 24:17 (NIV)
Whatever it was God had provided it as a source by which He guided these men to His Son. Why? They were looking for it with the right motives.
“Have come to worship Him.” - Why are you here? Do you come with a sense of wonder or are you here out of habit? More about this later.
They left King Herod with instructions of where to go and a request to return with more info. They left alone.