Summary: The wise men were changed after being in the presences of Jesus, the King of kings. True worship should cause a change in us also...When we leave we should go home a different way.

Today's scripture is a very familiar during the Christmas season...the story of the wise men and their visit to see Jesus.

(Matthew 2:1-12)

(1 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, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” 3 King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. 4 He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

6 ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,

are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,

for a ruler will come from you

who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. 8 Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

9 After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.)

The wise men had just arrived in Jerusalem on their journey from the east.

They didn't really know what to expect, except they were going to see a King–King of the Jews.

They were not following just any star, but His star.

They followed His star with great expectations, yet didn’t realize who they were going to see.

They didn’t know where they were going, but only following the star and going a long way.

They did make it and when they arrived and saw the child, bowed down and worshiped Him.

They gave Him gifts, each with special meaning, but even more meaning than they ever knew.

As they were standing before the cradle, they were really standing at the foot of the throne.

The story of the wise men ends with verse 12, but I believe that where it really just begins.

When it was time to leave, they went home another way, but I don’t believe that’s all there is.

Here’s what I believe:

>>I believe they not only went home a different way geographically, but also spiritually.

>>I believe they went home as different persons altogether by being in the presence of holiness.

>>I believe once they met the child who would later change the world, they were truly changed.

>>I believe they left with a different outlook on life, on God, and on others.

>>I believe a change that took place in their hearts and minds…they were converted.

>A few years back the state of Louisiana adopted the slogan, "Come As You Are, Leave Different!"

That's the way it should be with Jesus...and there are a number of accounts where this occurred.

Think of the many people in scripture who were changed by their encounters with Jesus: Simeon ~ The demon possessed man ~ The paralyzed man on the mat ~ The bleeding woman ~ Blind Bartimaeus ~ The adulteress ~ The Samaritan woman at the well ~ Zacchaeus ~ Men on the road to Emmaus ~ & don’t let's surely not forget the Disciples.

Each of these and many more who met Jesus went home a different from the way they came.

What about you…Has your life been changed?

We just finished a season of celebrating of the birth of the Messiah…our Lord & Savior.

But the question we each must answer is, “Am I a changed person?”

“Am I a different than I was before I encountered Christ in my life?”

Think about it. “How are you different because of Jesus’ presence in your life?”

I’m sure most all of you have packed up your decorations and put them away for another year.

Did you do the same with your Christmas spirit…with the joy and hope of the season?

The truth of the matter is, Christmas isn’t over…it’s really never over.

The wise men came to see a king and once they arrived they realized they were seeing the King.

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