Sermons

Summary: The Wise Men seek the child Jesus and travel a long way from the East following a star, they even have to seek advice from King Herod to find Him. Its a little like a children's game of Hide and Seek.

O GODHEAD HID.

MATT. 2:1-12.

One of the most popular games among children has to be hide-and-seek - the rules are very simple.

One child closes their eyes and counts to a hundred, while all the others hide - "Are you ready? Here I come."

And one by one they are sought out from their hiding places and when they have all been found, the first to be discovered becomes the new seeker, and the game starts again.

There are several reasons for the enduring popularity of hide-and –seek – its simple to play, doesn't cost anything and it doesn't require any special athletic skills.

Everyone can play it, boys and girls and even adults; ironically in many ways the game is somewhat true to life and in a real sense we never stop playing it.

As we get older, the rules change; but the basic plot remains the same – we all spend a good part of our lives hiding from and looking for other people.

Sometimes we even play this game with God - there are days when we fool ourselves into believing that we can hide from Him, and there are other days when it seems that He is hiding from us.

All through the Bible there are testimonies from people who were looking for God and who were having difficulty in finding Him.

Epiphany tells of a group of men who made an incredible journey in search of Christ.

They finally found Him, but it wasn't easy, not even with the help of a guiding star.

You could say that the experience of these eastern astrologers is not entirely different from our own.

We too have those times when Christ seems so far away and so very hard to find – are we are looking for Jesus in the wrong places?

The astrologers who came from the east, in search of Jesus, went straight to the capital city of Jerusalem, knocked on the door of the royal palace, and enquired about the new-born king.

That would seem the logical place to begin - Where else would you look for a king, but in a palace?

But their calculations proved false, He wasn't there -they could have searched the palace from top to bottom, and never found Him.

But He wasn't very far away--He was just six miles down the road in the little village of Bethlehem; and that's where they finally found Him.

This could be our problem, that we are looking for Jesus in the wrong places.

When the astrologers from the east found the Christ child, He was not in a palace with a king, but in a stable with His mother and father.

If you and I find Him in a meaningful way, it will NOT be among the stars, or back in history, or out in the future, but in the ordinary events of everyday life.

When He was on this earth, we may have found Him:

• in the temple teaching the people, or

• He was at a wedding helping an embarrassed host,

• in Bethany having dinner with His friends,

• on a hillside admiring the wild flowers,

• on the seashore talking to some fishermen or

• at a graveside weeping with a heartbroken family.

Jesus was very much a part of the everyday lives of people, so why should we suppose that He should be any different today?

So let us come down from our ivory towers, and start searching for Him in the ordinary events of everyday life.

If Jesus seems hard to find it could be that we are looking for Him in the wrong places.

But this story contains one other provocative thought: Herod the king failed to find the Christ child because he sought Him for the wrong reason.

Herod claimed that his purpose was to worship the Christ child, but really it was to destroy; not that he had anything personal against the baby Jesus or His family.

It was just a matter of business - Herod was very proud and jealous of his position and power, and feared that this new-born king might become a real threat in the future.

In a sense he was right - Of course Jesus did not want to replace Herod and become the puppet king of a Jewish Province.

Jesus was after something much bigger than that, His kingdom was the human heart.

He wanted the voluntary loyalty and devotion of all people everywhere and that is still His purpose today, and only those who seek Him with a surrendered heart will ever find Him.

But really God is not playing games with us---not hide-and-seek or any other game as He is in the serious business of redeeming a sad and sin-sick world.

That is what the coming of Jesus is all about; Jesus is God's way of making Himself known to all those who sincerely want to know Him.

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