Summary: We are going to begin our year by asking God to open our eyes to see Jesus. When we see the beauty and majesty of Jesus our lives and hearts will be changed and we will be moved to grow in our discipleship and service.
We are going to begin our year by asking God to open our eyes to see Jesus. When we see the beauty and majesty of Jesus our lives and hearts will be changed and we will be moved to grow in our discipleship and service.
Today we ask God to open our eyes to FIND Jesus. Though many have found Jesus many years ago, it is true that we never stop finding Jesus … learning more … growing closer. Our text today concerns some unlikely seekers who find Jesus and experience great joy!
Read Text: Matthew 2:1-12
We should seek a revelation of Jesus Christ in our own lives and hearts today. Are we really seeing Jesus? Are we seeking Him?
We learn from the visit of the Magi three things we need in order to seek and find Jesus … and keep finding Him.
1. We Need Light From Above (Matthew 2:1-2)
The Magi come with several mysteries. Who are they? Barclay says the Magi were skilled in philosophy, medicine, and natural science. They also interpreted dreams. They studied the stars because they believed that through astrology they could foretell the future. Many believe they were astronomers from Persia who would have been acquainted with the Jewish thoughts and prophecies going back to Nehemiah and Ezra and Daniel.
Their search for Jesus began with light from above. “We cannot tell what star the Magi saw; but it was their profession to watch the heavens, and some heavenly brilliant spoke to them of the entry of a king into the world.” (William Barclay). In our desire to always be finding Jesus, we also need light from above.
*Scripture. Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
*Experience. Luke 24:32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
*Sharing. We can never tell who will hear as we share the love of Christ with others.
As we seek to find Jesus we need light from above.
2. We Need Perseverance
The journey of the wise men was not an easy one.
*There was the danger of the journey (long, expensive, treacherous).
*There was the danger of King Herod. We meet four generations of Herods in the New Testament. It is the founder, who ruled from 47–4 B.C., who was then aged and nearing the end of his life, whom we meet in Matthew 2. Herod the Great kept peace and order in Palestine, built the Temple in Jerusalem, could be generous. He had one terrible flaw in his character - he was insanely suspicious … and the older he got the more suspicion he grew. In his old age he was described as “a murderous old man”. (Barclay). He murdered his wife and her mother. His eldest son, Antipater, and two other sons, Alexander and Areistobulus were all assassinated by him. Augustus the Roman Emperor said bitterly that it was safer to be Herod’s pig than Herod’s son. (Barclay) His murder of the children of Bethlehem was not really unexpected, Jerusalem knew this is his way.Even so, they persevered on their quest to the end!
In our search for Jesus we have to have perseverance! The greatest blessing we could ever hope for is to partake in the grace of our Father through Jesus. Even so, there are struggles in following Christ:
-Within our families
-With our unChristian friends and coworkers
-With other Christians.
James 1:4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
We persevere because it is worth it! No matter what you encounter on your journey, never give up.
3. We Need Discernment (2:7-9)
The Wise men were called into conference with King Herod. (Read vs 12)
We may encounter many sources of discouragement and untruth in our journey to follow Christ.
Discernment is wisdom, the ability to be focused on the truth.
We need light from above, perseverance and discernment…
4. When We Find Jesus …
- Worship His Majesty. With Joy - Vs 10 They were overjoyed. With Reverence vs 11 - they saw Jesus and bowed
down and worshiped him
- Offer Yourself to His Service
They offered to Jesus three gifts.(Barclay)
*Gold was a gift for a king.
*Frankincense is the gift for a priest. It was in the Temple worship and Temple sacrifices that the sweet perfume of frankincense was used. Jesus was not only a king to be served, he was a priest who builds a bridge between man and God.
*Myrrh is the gift for one who is to die. Myrrh was used to embalm the bodies of the dead. Jesus came into the world to die. These gifts foretold that Jesus was the true King, the perfect High Priest, and the supreme Savior of mankind.