Summary: There are two types of people: foolish people and wise people. Even that first Christmas had their fools and wise men.
Fools and Really Wise Guys!
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."
When Herod the king heard [this], he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ’But you, Bethlehem, [in] the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ "Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found [Him], bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also."
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. Matthew 2:1-12
In life, there will always be fools and wise people. Fools will refuse to believe God and His Word. The wise will accept by faith the Word God has given. Today we will find both. We will find the gentiles who diligently searched for Him and the fools who scorned and ignored Him.
Introduction - Suppose it had been wise women instead of men?
I recently read a humorous account of the Wise Men (obviously written by a woman): If it had been ‘Wise Women’ instead of ‘Wise Men’, they would have asked directions, arrived ahead of time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical gifts from Baby’s-R-Us, including diapers, wipes, bibs and formula. But that’s an entirely different story… Source: SermonCentral.com
As we study God’s Word today, there are several things we will discover that don’t quite match the nativity set scene that is often displayed in homes, churches and front yards. We will notice the Christ child, the birth mother and step-father, and the shepherds. In many nativity scenes there will also be three Magi. Of course, a detailed reading of scripture precludes their actually being there at the birth of Jesus.
Illustration - What children hear.
I heard about a woman who read the story of Jesus’ birth to her day-care children one morning. As she read, she stopped to see if they understood. "What do we call the three wise men?" she asked. "The three maggots," replied a bright 5-year-old. "What gift did the MAGI bring baby Jesus?" the teacher corrected. "Gold, Frankenstein’s and smurfs!" the same 5-year-old replied. -- Sent in to Christian Herald by Brenda Roberts, Stone Mountain, GA; Source: SermonCentral.com.
There are misperceptions regarding these wise men from the east. Let’s examine God’s Word and see what He has to say concerning Matthew 2.
First we discover THE SEARCH in verses1-2.
There were Magi from the east who searched for a King. Perhaps they were from Persia or the Babylonian area and had studied Daniel’s writings. Whatever they had there was a search revealed to them only by God.
Notice three things about their search. First, we find that it was Foundational.
It was a foundational search because they were looking for the King of the Jews. I believe there is a spiritual void or vacuum in every person’s life. Just as these wise men were searching for the King whose star they had seen, we too, search for Him in a variety of ways. Simply look at all of the world’s man-made religions from Islam to Kwanzaa to Hinduism. And these are supposed to be man’s “best” efforts to reach God? God is always drawing men to Him that they may know Him. He even drew these pagan, gentile, nonbelievers to Him through their search in astronomy and astrology.
These men, however many there were, traveled from the east to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was a place of spiritual importance. If there was a king to be born, surely he would be born in the great city of Jerusalem.