Summary: The Purpose That Motivated Them; The Perseverance That Sustained Them; The Presents They Presented Him
The Journey of the Wise Men
The characters of Christmas teach us a great deal about the meaning of Christmas.
Now, we do not know a great deal about these wise men actually. They are really known as magi in the scriptures. We do not know how many of them there were. We say three wise men because of the three gifts they brought, but we really don’t know. We don’t know the names of these wise men. There are some traditional names given to them, but we really don’t know their names.
We aren’t sure just exactly what nation they came from. They came from the east, verse 1 says. I think, most likely, they came from Babylon, and I’ll tell you why I believe that
they came from Babylon. In Babylon there was a great prophet, a man of God whose name was Daniel. And Babylon, of course, is to the east; it’s our modern Iraq. It was there that young Daniel was taken captive, and it was there that Daniel taught, and in Babylon, there were wise men, Magi. As a matter of
fact, the book of Daniel tells about them and these wise men had their lives saved by Daniel. And obviously they would have listened to the teaching and the preaching of Daniel, and it was Daniel who prophesied a coming Messiah. But we really don’t know a whole lot about these men. They seem to have been the scientists and the doctors and the scholars of their day. They glide into the Christmas story, offer their gifts to the newborn Christ, and they silent slip away.
I saw a sign a number of years ago around Christmas that said, "Wise men still seek Him." They show us, indeed, the wise course of their life and their wisdom in that they followed the star that led them to Christ. When they came to Jesus, they fell down and worshipped Him, and their lives were never again the same. You and I would be wise to follow the example of these magi.
I want us to go through these verses and see if we can get a message for our hearts that will make the birth of Jesus Christ mean what it really ought to mean in our lives.
I. The Purpose That Motivated Them (Verses 1-2)
It was not curiosity that sent the wise men on their long journey to Jerusalem. They did not make the trip merely to see if their calculations were correct. They came seeking one born King of the Jews, that they might "worship" Him.
A. The word worship is used two times (verses 2 and 11 as it relates to the wise men).
These men would not have traveled any great distance to see just any king born in the obscure, insignificant country of Palestine. They came to see a King of kings, the one who would fulfill the Messianic prophecies of Scripture and
the Messianic hope of the Jews.
B. The wise men understood the supernatural character of the baby and had traveled to Jerusalem for the one purpose of bowing themselves in worship before Him.
It is so easy to lose the worship perspective at Christmas. Family, friends, food, and football often take center stage. The one whose birth we celebrate gets little more than token recognition. Real worship, the bowing of our hearts before the might and majesty of God, is conspicuously absent.
We must purpose in our hearts to worship Christ on the day that we set aside to remember His birth. If you want to worship Christ as you should, then
1. Reflect on His – He was and is the very God of heaven, our Creator
Here is a star-preaching. Star preaching is all about Christ. We do not know what the color of the star was, nor the shape of the star, but what is recorded is of much more importance; the wise men said— "We have seen his star."
May people never dwell upon our attainments or our deficiencies, but may they always observe this one thing that we never attempt to shine for ourselves, or to make ourselves conspicuous; but that we labor to shine for him. Though you be but a very little star, twinkling for Jesus; however feeble your light may be. May it be plain that you are his star, so that if men wonder what you are, they may never wonder whose you are, for on your very forefront it shall be written, "Whose I am and whom I serve."
Star-preaching points to Christ. The star led others to Christ (9).
Star -preaching stops at Jesus; it went before the wise men till it brought them to Jesus, and then it stood still over the place where the young child was. I admire the manner of this star. When the star had come to the place where the young child was, it stood still.