Summary: The Mission of God: God is Radically Committed to Winning People’s Hearts
The Mission of God:
God is Radically Committed to Winning People’s Hearts
God is on a mission to win the hearts of people. The coming of Jesus is about God taking the initiative to overcome the infinite chasm between us and him by coming to dwell among us, identifying with our struggles, our pain, and to point us to the One who has the solution. As we look at the incarnation of Christ these next few weeks, I believe God is calling us to partner with Him to be a community sent by him to win the world.
This is not a new idea for CCC. This church started sixty years ago as a mission to Homer. I believe God is once again calling us to this great adventure. His desire for us as a mission minded church is not to look so far to the horizon that we lose site of those in front of us. He is calling us to look across the street, to look at our neighbors, to look at our co-workers as people that God has sent us to, as our mission field. He is calling us to change our mindset from going to church to being the church. As we look to the future, I believe God is calling us back to see ourselves as a missional people. Missional being something we are rather than something we do. I want to focus on two truths in this passage: Gods heart is to reveal himself to all people as represented by the Magi and God great power is radically committed to winning people.
1. God’s Heart is to Reveal himself to all People Groups (v.1-2)
We see here that the Magi came from the east looking for one born king of Jews. How did they know that the star referred to a foreign-born king? First, we know from Old Testament history that when the Babylonians conquered Judah and Jerusalem, they deported the majority of the population to Babylon. The Jews lived in exile for 70 years, until the Medes and Persians conquered the Babylonians. Then the Persian kings allowed the Jews to return to Israel to rebuild the temple and the city of Jerusalem and so many returned. But many Jews continued to live in the Persian Empire. So by the time of Christ's birth, centuries later, the Jewish religion would have long existed in the "east." In all likelihood the Hebrew Scriptures were known and so they knew of the coming of the Messiah. Daniel was also prominent in Babylon and among the Medes, and the book he authored has several Messianic prophecies. This may explain how they knew of the king of the Jews.
They came to worship the king. In verse two Jesus is identified as king of the Jews and then in verse four as the Messiah. Herod was looking to kill him; the chief priests and scribes were indifferent but those God prepared were searching for him. The Magi were looking because God had prepared their hearts and was drawing them to himself. It was the unlikely people who embraced God, the Magi not the Jewish leaders. The people we overlook as unlikely to embrace God are the very ones that embrace God and his purposes! The Jewish leaders tell Herod where the king would be born but they do not seek him themselves.