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Summary:

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Thesis: Wisdom or ignorance is determined by what we do with Jesus.

Intro.:

1. There is a tremendous emphasis in today's world on getting an education.

a. Many fields require Master's degrees that once needed only HS diplomas.

b. People today go through years of study--PS, Kindergarten, 12 yrs. of school, 4 yrs. of college, graduate degrees, post-grad. degrees.

c. We spend a lot of time and money getting smart.

2. The ironic thing about all this is we all know a good education does not guarantee that one will become smart!

a. Some of the dumbest people I've ever met are the ones who have had a bunch of letters after their names!

1) Wisdom is not attained through the classroom.

2) It has nothing to do with picking up a diploma.

3) It is achieved through faith.

b. This is what the story of the Wise men is all about (Matt. 2:1-12).

I. READ MATT. 2:1-12. < Pausing to make appropriate comments >

A. After Verse 1.

1. Who are these guys?

a. Nobody knows for sure!

b. Possibly: Court officials, kings, astrologers.

2. How many of them were there?

a. Nobody knows for sure!

b. Traditionally three (early tradition) because of three gifts.

B. After Verse 2.

1. What did the wise men see?

a. Nobody knows for sure!

b. Possibly: Comet, supernova, conj. of planets; moved--v. 9.

2. Whatever it was, it was the supernatural work of God.

C. After Verse 6.

1. Jesus' birth is according to prophecy--Micah 5:2.

2. The Wise Men's visit itself also fulfills prophecy--"Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn" (Isa. 60:3).

II. CHARACTERISTICS OF WISE MEN.

A. Wise Men do not start out being wise!.

1. These were smart guys who believed some pretty stupid things.

a. Believed in astrology--a person's character & destiny is determined by position of stars & planets at birth.

b. Illust. We have this image of the Wise Men setting out singing on their way to Bethlehem, "We Three Kings of Orient are ..." More likely they were singing something along the lines of, "This is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius." They probably would have felt right at home with Shirley MacLaine & the New Age Movement.

2. You do not have to be smart to look for Jesus. < good news! >

a. Wise Men were not wise at first.

b. While it is no sin to be stupid; it is sinful not to follow God's saving light in Jesus.

B. Wise men are seekers, not sitters!

1. Jesus was born right under the noses of Jewish leaders; the Wise Men came from afar because they were seekers.

a. Seekers ask questions.

b. Seekers move. (Sitters were 5 miles away in holy city & didn't move an inch!)

2. Looking for Jesus is not a passive activity.

a. It involves asking questions.

b. It involves moving.

c. If you want to find Jesus it involves doing something.

C. Wise Men expect the unexpected!

1. Looking for a king (Bethlehem had no palace, king, courtiers, etc.)

a. Options: Give up search and go home? or expect unexpected!

b. "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him" (v. 11).

c. That was when they became wise men.


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