Summary: Wise men and women seek Jesus. He is the source of all truth.
Series: Christmas 2011, Advent
Message: Christmas Wisdom
Topics: Christmas, Advent, Wisemen, Journey, Truth, Worship, Change, Seekers, Faith
Text: Matthew 2:1-12
Date: Dec. 24, 2011
Pastor: David McBeath
(Inspired by a Sermon by Tom Shepard)
This evening as we celebrate the reason for the season, I’m going to talk about Christmas Wisdom as we consider the Wise Men and what made them wise.
To get us started, a few women once got together and asked the question: "What would have happened if there had been 3 Wise Women, Instead of 3 Wise Men?" Here was their answer:
• They would have Arrived on time— (The wise men got there 2 years late! Now that is showing up late to a birthday party!)
• Not only would they have arrived on time, but they would have been there to clean the stable, help deliver the baby, make a casserole, (It’s just like a guy to show up after everything is done, isn’t ladies!)
• Finally, they would have brought practical gifts like diapers, formula, and wet wipes. (I mean Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh—come on. Well maybe the gold would have been OK—it sure would have bought a lot of diapers!)
Anyway, we can all be wise men or wise women by following the example of the Magi. Since we know the story so let me get right into it.
SEEK THE TRUTH
The first thing we can learn from the Magi is this: Wise men and women seek the truth. We learn this from the occupation of the wise men. The word “Magi” refers to those who were experts in the study of the earth and the stars. Today we would call them “scientists” and “astronomers.” The Magi were well educated, very intelligent, and worked for very powerful people, kings and governments, just like our scientists today. And like many of our scientists, the Magi believed that their study of the heavens would reveal the ultimate truth of the universe.
Now, it’s interesting that the wise men’s desire to find the truth of the universe led them to find Jesus. …There is a Newsweek article from in 1998 that suggests the same thing continues to happen today. Here is what the article says:
The achievements of modern science seem to contradict religion and undermine faith. But for a growing number of scientists, the same discoveries offer support for spirituality and hints [sic] of the very nature of God.
While most of our scientists are not believers, a growing number are finding Jesus as they seek the truth behind the universe.
The wise men Matthew speaks about are no different than the scientists today. The Bible says they came from the East. Matthew’s statement is a shorthand way to let his readers know that these Magi were Gentiles and did not believe in the God of Israel. Yet as they studied the stars and this special star entered the horizon, it caused them to consider the truth of the Hebrew Scripture and they came to believe in the God of the Bible. Seeking the truth behind the universe Matthew 2:11 tells us they ultimately found Jesus.
Like the Magi, wise men and women will honestly seek the truth behind the universe. And the
fact is this: People who seek the truth find Jesus. I have full confidence in this fact. I’ve seen it time and time again. That’s why Jesus said in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” And in Luke 11:9 he said: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;”
If anyone here tonight does not know if God is real or if Jesus is who he said he is. Seek the truth. I believe you will find the truth here at this church. Give the Christianity thing a try—If you do, I know you will find it rings true. But even if you don’t start here at our church, seek the truth in science or philosophy. I am not one of those pastors who say, “Stay away from these things.” I’m not afraid of them—in fact both of these disciplines have bolstered my faith. (My undergraduate degree is in Meteorology.) I am convinced that if you seek the truth in any discipline, it will ultimately end up leading you to God thru Jesus.
What was the result of the Wise Men’s pursuit of truth? It is this: They began to seek Jesus. In Matthew 2:2 they ask: “Where is he who is born the king of the Jews.” This leads me to my next point: Wise men and women seek Jesus!!
Have you seen the movie Jurassic Park. There is a splendid moment in this movie, when world-class paleontologist Allen Grant, who has devoted his life to the study of dinosaurs, suddenly comes face-to-face with real, live prehistoric creatures and falls to the ground, dumbstruck. The reason is obvious. It is one thing to piece together an informed but imperfect image of dinosaurs by picking through fossils and bones. But it’s quite another to encounter an actual dinosaur. There can be no comparison!