Summary: Christmas sermon discussing how the Magi overcame many obstacles to find and worship Christ and how we can help others overcome barriers to Him as well.
Finding Christ in Spite of the Barriers
December 16, 2007
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
Top 10 Reasons why there was no room for Joseph and Mary in the Inn.
10. The Roman Government’s “Buy one night, get a second free” promotion was a bit too successful.
9. The only room left was by the ice machine.
8. The Nazareth Shriners tore up the place the night before.
7. The innkeeper didn’t accept the Judean Express Card.
6. It was the weekend of the Caesar Impersonators convention.
5. The last pregnant lady riding a donkey took all their towels.
4. The health department had shut them down because of an E. coli outbreak.
3. The innkeeper’s wife wouldn’t let him take olive wood carvings as payment anymore.
2. The front desk was closed early so the innkeeper and his family could go outside and watch the unique star.
1. No last names; no service.
(SermonCentral.com. Contributed by David Owens)
This is a time of year when people are probably most likely to think about Jesus, right?
Christmas music is playing and the songs are about Jesus, for the most part. And even if a person isn’t really “religious,” they are usually conscious of the fact that at its core, Christmas is a religious holiday, even if they don’t grasp the significance for themselves.
But I think that many people don’t really find the significance of Christmas because things get in the way.
Barriers crop in people’s lives that keep them from finding Jesus and worshiping Him.
These barriers existed in my own life growing up, and I think you’ll find that as we go through these, they’ve existed in your life as well.
For some, these barriers still exist. Maybe some in here. If that’s the case for you, then I hope that you’ll not only recognize the barriers, but you’ll see that they can be overcome.
God: In the Bible we find the story of some men who took an incredibly journey to find a baby who’s birth was announced by a star.
They overcame a number of barriers to find Jesus and I want to discuss them because they’re barriers that people face today when it comes to finding Jesus.
Matthew 2:1-12 (p. 681-682) –
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.
12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
These guys came from a long way off. From what the researchers can tell us, they probably came from Persia, or near there. Persia is modern-day Iran.
To get there they had to go through some barriers to get to this baby in order to worship Him.
They’re the same types of barriers that so many people have to go through today in order to find Jesus.
This and the next one are probably the biggest issues in terms of just getting around to looking for the baby.
They traveled probably the better part of a thousand miles or more, without the benefit of cars, planes, trains, or any of those modern conveniences.