Summary: Follow the example of the Magi after experiencing Christmas.
Have you heard any predictions yet for the New Year 2015? They are already out there and we will hear many more as this year ends.
Did you know that during the Old Testament times, when someone proclaims to be a prophet and their prediction is wrong, they get executed!
Daniel during Old Testament times proved to be worthy as a prophet of God! About 200 years before it happened, through the Prophet Daniel, God proclaimed that Jesus Christ would be born to save people. Indeed, Great News! But, what happened after Jesus was born?
Matthew 2 tells us what happened after Jesus was born. And for us, what now after celebrating Christmas? There are biblical principles in the story after Jesus was born which we can apply to our lives today. Please open your Bibles to Matthew 2….. read along with me v1-12…..
And so, from v1: we note that Jesus was born on earth during the reign of King Herod, which was about 2000 years ago.
Who was King Herod? Did you know that Herod was actually an Arab who converted to Judaism? And when Rome invaded Israel, Herod made an alliance with Rome and was appointed King of Judea under the Roman Empire! Herod was a tyrant who did not want anyone to be in his way of rule!
And then, there were Magi from the East. Who were the Magi?
- were from the East – Foreigners, not Jewish
- and they came to worship a king recently born, what does this indicate about the Magi??
- and how did the Magi know the King was born in Judea??
they saw His star
- they were understanding God through God’s revelation with the stars – astronomers!
let us note here what God states in Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands; and the Magi took this to heart!
And how many were the Magi from the East??
- v7 tells us “them” – Magi was more than one person
- gave gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh (because of these types of gifts, many assume there were 3 Wisemen; but the Word of God really does not specify)
By the way, what else do people assume about the 3 Wisemen which is definitely wrong??
Most of our nativity scenes include 3 kings with a star shining on baby Jesus in a manger.
Verse 11 tells us the Magi came to a house, not a barn! Jesus was already a few days, maybe even a few weeks old when the 3 Wisemen visited. And so again, always know what the Bible actually states, not how the world pictures how things are or were.
Now, before we note the differing responses of King Herod and the Magi to Jesus coming to this world, let us note the other major person in this story. Whether to the religious Magi or the secular King Herod, God was involved!
- again, God related with people by declaring His majesty in the skies (We today look at a sunrise or sunset or stars in the night and we go “Oooooh, look at that!”, when God is actually speaking!
- revealed the coming of the Messiah through prophets (v4-6)
- gave a special “star” to guide
- gave warning of danger
And so, God related to these 2 types of people, the Magi and King Herod. How did they respond?
Let us note first, how not to respond.
King Herod was king of Judea, the land of God’s Chosen people. King Herod not only had the Word of God, he had access to godly people who directly spoke for God! But based on what God told the Magi in v12, what kind of heart did King Herod have for Jesus Christ the Messiah??
King Herod was not going to bow down to Jesus Christ! As a matter of fact, as we will note more next week, King Herod wanted Jesus killed!
How did the Magi respond to God’s revelation to Jesus Christ? Let’s take a look at the steps they took. But let us not miss this principle, there was a basic foundation for what the Magi did,
1. Seriously searched for truth (this is what they did with the stars and going to King Herod)
Here’s a truth: If you stop searching for truth, you will live in lies.
And after they heard from God’s prophets where the Messiah was going to be born, what did the Magi do?
2. headed towards the place where God stated in Scriptures.
And what happened next as the Magi obeyed the Word of God? God affirmed their steps by guiding them further to the truth (God gave them a special star to lead them directly to Jesus)! This is a major biblical principle; God will affirm obedience to Him!