Sermons

Summary: Jesus can be found by simply opening our hearts and minds to the Gospel message.

God Guides The Wise

Text: Matthew 2:1-12

Introduction

1. “Holiday time is highway time. Ever since the magi packed their bags for Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus has caused people to hit the road. Our Christmas trips have a lot in common with the one of the wise men. We don’t camp with camels, but we have been known to bump into a knobby-kneed in-law on the way to the bathroom. We don’t keep an eye out for star lights, but flashing lights of the highway patrol? We watch for them at every curve. And we don’t ride in a spice-road caravan, but six hours in a minivan with four kids might have made the wise men thankful for animals.

It’s not always ho ho ho on the high, high highway. Extended time in the car reveals human frailties.

Dads refuse to stop. They hearken back to the examples of their forefathers. Did the pioneers spend the night at a Holiday Inn? Did Lewis and Clark ask for directions? Did Joseph allow Mary to stroll through a souvenir shop on the “road to Bethlehem? By no means. Men drive as if they have a biblical mandate to travel far and fast, stopping only for gasoline.

And children? Road trips do to kids what a full moon does to the wolf man. If one child says, “I like that song,” you might expect the other to say, “That’s nice.” Won’t happen. Instead the other child will reply, “It stinks and so do your feet.”

There is also the issue of JBA—juvenile bladder activity. A child can go weeks without going to the bathroom at home. But once on the road, the kid starts leaking like secrets in Washington. On one drive to Colorado, my daughters visited every toilet in New Mexico.

The best advice for traveling with young children is to be thankful they aren’t teenagers. Teens are embarrassed by what their parents say, think, wear, eat, and sing. So for their sakes (and if you ever want to see your future grandchildren), don’t smile at the wait staff, don’t breathe, and don’t sing with the window down or up.

It’s wiser to postpone traveling with children until they are a more reasonable age—like forty-two.

Christmas and travel. The first has a way of prompting the second and has done so ever since the delegation from the distant land came searching for Jesus” (Excerpt From: Max Lucado. “Because of Bethlehem (with Bonus Content).” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/546E_.l”).

2. Unlike the Magi, we do not have to travel to find Jesus.

A. Jeremiah 29:13-14 (NLT)

13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

14 I will be found by you,” says the LORD...."

B. We don't have to follow a star, all we have to do is look within our own hearts and ask Jesus to come and be our Savior.

C. If we look for him wholeheartedly he promises that we will find him.

3. There are a number of things we can take from the story of the Magi...

A. The Wise Seek Him

B. Fools Try And Oppose Him

C. The Spiritually-Minded Worship Him

4. Let's stand together as we read Matt. 2:1-12.

Proposition: Jesus can be found by simply opening our hearts and minds to the Gospel message.

Transition: The first great truth we can gleam from the story of the Magi is...

I. The Wise Seek Him (1-2).

A. Some Wise Men

1. A funny thing happens when we actually read the Bible for ourselves. One of the most amazing things is we learn how little we really know about the Bible.

A. Most people think the Bible says, "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!" While the Bible does say something like that what it really says is a little more inclusive.

B. What it really says is, John 8:31-32 (NLT) 31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

C. The first requires nothing from us, while the second states we have to do something to know the truth. Big difference.

2. Well the same is true when it comes to the Magi. We always think they were three kings, but that's not what the Bible says. Matthew tells us, "Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem..."

A. It is significant that Matthew, the Gospel to the Jews and Jewish Christians, draws attention to the fact that among the first to seek the newborn King was a group of Gentile Wise Men from distant lands.

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