Summary: The Magi
How can you tell a married man from a single man in a department store?A married man is holding a purse. Women just love to shop – Men hate to shop. Why is that? Women are gatherers. Men are hunters.
Women have to look at each and every item on the rack even if there is no possibility that they will buy it. AWoman’s goal: touch every piece of clothing in her size in the store. Twice.
Men only look at the item that they might possibly buy Why look at it, if I don’t need it? Man’s goal: Find it, buy it, go home, with the exception of Home Depot.
This morning in our Scripture we saw the Magi seeking out a king.
They find Jesus. And they give him gift from their shopping spree.
Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. The old joke is that if the Magi were women they would have brought more practical gifts. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh – how could they be practical? It turns out – very practical. They are full of hope. Because God never, never leaves us without hope.
What we have seen so far: Hope and Faith are closely tied together
If you don’t have hope you don’t have faith. Our definition of hope/faith is: Hebrews 11:1 , Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Our hope in not an attitude, a state of mind to get into. Our hope is Jesus Christ who doesn’t change his policy. He keeps his oath and offers us hope in himself. God prepares a way before us, but in reality, God prepares hearts, minds, spirits. To fully know the Hope given us we open up our hearts to God.
As we look through our Scripture this morning We will see this in our final look at hope: In spite of all circumstances surrounding us God is offering you hope, God is making ready a way But you need to be aware so yiu don’t miss it.
Who were they? Pagans and astrologers. They saw the star and went to investigate. At that time astrological signs were equated with rulers. They see the star – “know” a great king has been born. the astologers who were the “Best” lived in the East, most likely Arabia, Babylon, Now we don’t read more into text than is there: The number of Magi is never stated. Tradition says three because of three gifts that there were three kings. It is significant that they are pagans, who know where the Christ is born. Their response is to pay homage / worship (verse 2). The local religious leaders know the theory of where and why messiah is to be born, but they know less than the pagans do! They don’t go with the Magi to find Jesus. Why do they miss this? Are they afraid of Herod? But if he would end Herod’s reign, at least in secret they would act. But they don’t. So we have a people who know – but cannot act.
Apparently God doesn’t fit into their mindset. A king would come in glory – great manifestation, certainly they couldn’t miss it they figure. Jesus is just ordinary. So G comes to us in the ordinary. If they could miss it we could miss it. Couldn’t we?
The gifts they bring...We’ll get back to that.
Herod. He acts out of self preservation. He summons Magi (verse 7). He has his own agenda and has no problem lying, no problem killing (brothers, wife, children 2 yrs and under). Is he knowingly trying to subvert God’s will? No – He is just taking care of business. Yes - He believes the “gods” control the stars. But will try to beat them anyway.
God has given Joseph and Mary hope through messages – angels / dreams. Now they have found it tough finding a place to stay, but shepherds give confirmation and the Magi give confirmation that God is behind all of this - And the Magi give a way out of difficult circumstances.
No One will – ultimately - thwart God. They plan against God - Herod summons Magi. They speak lies to cover their misdeeds - I want to worship too. Verse 8. They act against God - Killing all possible suspects. But God has the advantage - He’s God of course.
Everything has gone from bad to worse. Visitors bringing blessings have also brought a curse . Herod is now after them and their fear is real. They leave in the night and because of them, many people die. God must be failing here! But he is not, is he?
Herod, what an character to do evil! God allows him to operate because ultimately – God’s will be done.