Summary: 2nd of 4 messages: Wise men traveled a great distance to worship Jesus, yet there were important intellectuals who wouldn’t go six miles out to see if the rumors were true... Today intellectuals find it difficult to embrace the foolishness of a God who i
12/15/2002: The Journey from Intellectual to Foolish
Wise men traveled a great distance to worship Jesus, yet there were important intellectuals who wouldn’t go six miles out to see if the rumors were true...
Today intellectuals find it difficult to embrace the foolishness of a God who is born a man.
But the wisest of the wise recognize the wonder of what is called impossible and the emptiness what is called intelligent.
Being Intellectual doesn’t make you wise. Technology doesn’t translate into wisdom. I’ve met too many smart geeks who can’t find their way to the back of a store to think being smart is the same as being wise.
In fact our society is riddled with examples of the wisdom of our age. For example:
· How many reasonably intelligent people do you know that order a double cheeseburger, a super size large fry, and a diet coke.
· Can anyone explain why grocery stores sell hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight or why drive up ATM machines have Braille lettering?
· And what about you? You are intelligent people but you’ll leave a car worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put your junk in the garage.
But the opposite is also true…
What some call foolish is sometimes wisdom
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Out of the mouth of babes?” Certainly you have. It comes from the simple truth that sometimes it takes a child to reveal lasting wisdom. It seems foolish but it isn’t!
· Patrick, age 10, said, “Never trust a dog to watch your food.”
· Michael, 14, said, “When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?" don’t answer him.”
· Michael, wise man that he was also said, “Never tell your mom her diet’s not working.”
· Randy, 9 years of age said, “Stay away from prunes.” One wonders how he discovered that bit of wisdom.
· Kyoyo, age 9, said, “Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.”
· Naomi, 15 said, “If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.”
· Lauren, age 9 said, “Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick.”
· Joel, 10 years old, said, “Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat.” and
· Eileen, age 8 said, “Never try to baptize a cat.”
The wisdom of God is foolishness to those who are lost and the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom
Life is full of anomalies and paradoxes. Some things seem right that are wrong and some things that seem wrong are right. Listen… The wisdom of God is foolishness to those who are lost and the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom.
A prime example of this is found in the narrative about the wise men from the east who came to worship Jesus. Especially when you compare them with the wise men of Herod who where in Jerusalem.
" Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea during the time when Herod was king. When Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the baby who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
The wise men were wise men because they were looking for one who is greater
The wise men from the east knew about a spiritual king but they didn’t know about spiritual things.
Who the wise men were is largely a matter of speculation and good scholarly guesswork.
Most scholars believe that these wise men were from Arabia or Mesopotamia – today it is known as Iraq. It’s possible that they were astrologers because they noted a star in the sky that was unknown previously. They were most likely gentiles, as they didn’t know the prophecies of Jesus birthplace. Some think they were descendants of the Jews taken captive during the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Later tradition tells us that they were kings and gives us the names of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar.
What these men were and where they came from exactly and what their names might have been the scriptures simply do not say. What is said is that they were looking for a spiritual king to worship.
Now, contrast this spiritual hunger in these men with the spiritual malaise of the King and his wise men.
King Herod’s wise men knew about spiritual things but they didn’t know about the spiritual king
King Herod and his wise men are just good examples of the foolishness of men which is disguised as sophistication, intellect and reason. They got so caught up in their world they were lost in the absurd. What absurdity is that? The absurdity was that they thought they had a handle on the power of God, on God’s truth, and on the future of man.