Summary: A first-person narrative sermon from the perspective of one of the wise men. Those who are wise will worship Him.
Christmas Questions: Devotion
Rev. Brian Bill
[Pick up one of the wise men from the Nativity Scene]
Good morning. My name is Gaspar. I’m one of the wise guys you just heard about from Matthew 2. I understand that you’re in the middle of a sermon series called, “Christmas Questions.” I decided to show up here today because I wanted to clear up some confusion and answer some of your questions.
Let me start by giving you a quiz to see how well you know the Christmas story.
Q: How many wise men came to see Jesus?
A: The Bible doesn’t say. There were a bunch of us that made up a caravan of travelers. Most believe there were three because we gave three gifts but do you really think we made a 900 mile journey by ourselves?
Q: Who were they?
A: We were stargazers but we were more than that. Back then, we used to help people figure out their purpose by looking at the skies to determine answers to the great questions of life – questions like: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? We were highly educated scholars who were trained in medicine, history, religion, prophecy and astronomy. We thought deeply about life so in that respect I guess we were wise guys. One of our jobs was to advise the king and to interpret various events and activities.
I’m not one to brag but because of our combined knowledge we had become the most powerful group of advisors in the Babylonian empire. It had been said that no one had been crowned king without our approval. As such, we weren’t the “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” but we were what could be called, Kingmakers.
Q: Where did the wise men meet Jesus?
A: We found Jesus in a house, not in a stable or manger. If you don’t believe me, check out Matthew 2:11: “On coming to the house…” This kind of messes up your nativity scenes that show us at the stable, doesn’t it?
Let me tell you my story. I was raised in the area you know now as Iraq. I loved to study and learn and was always asking questions. One of my favorite things to do was to stay up late into the night and just gaze at the stars in the sky. I got to the point where I could close my eyes and point my finger in the sky and name the star or planet without even looking. I never got tired of doing this. One night when I was much older I was laying flat on my back after a long day and I noticed a brand new star in the sky. This had to be a mistake. I consulted the constellation charts and realized that this bright light had never been recorded. I kept the discovery to myself at first because I wanted to see if it would appear again. Sure enough, it showed up every night and I was determined to discover what it meant.
But then I noticed something even stranger. The star seemed to be moving, changing position against the constellations. I ran to find my fellow astrologers, excited to tell them the news. But they had already seen it. We then debated about what it meant as we did some complicated calculations. Most of us came to the conclusion that this star signaled the birth of a new king somewhere to the west of us. It was not uncommon for the birth of a ruler to be associated with bright lights in the sky. I can’t adequately explain how much I was drawn to this star. Others seemed to forget about it after awhile but I was fixated on this star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright…sorry, I almost broke out into song there. I was determined to get up and follow it, no matter where it led me.
Something was tugging at me but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I decided to look into some of our historical archives and then I remembered! Centuries earlier our country had attacked the nation of Judah and brought back some of their best and brightest. Among them was a man named Daniel who was an amazing individual. He had the ability to not only interpret dreams – he even told Nebuchadnezzar what his dream was about. I then searched the Jewish Scriptures and found Daniel 1:17 which referred to Daniel and his friends as the original “wise men.” My relatives, who were also considered wise men, could not interpret the king’s dream and were in danger of being executed. Daniel saved the day when he told the king not only what he had dreamt, but what it meant.